Clayton State University and builder McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (www.mccarthy.com) celebrated the near-completion of the frame of the University’s new science building at a “Topping Out” ceremony today.
Undaunted by the hot and humid weather, a large and enthusiastic crowd of Clayton State administrators, faculty (notably natural sciences faculty), staff and students gathered along with McCarthy employees for the topping out ceremony, with remarks by Clayton State interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs Dr. Kevin Demmitt, McCarthy Southeast Division President Kevin Kuntz, and Clayton State President Dr. Thomas Hynes (pictured at the podium in the attached photo.)
“This will impact our students for years to come,” noted Demmitt. “And our science and healthcare management graduates will meet the needs of the community for years to come.”
Demmitt also pointed out that the laboratory space in the science building will provide many more research opportunities for Clayton State students, “a critical need for students in science. Their dreams are one day closer to being made real.”
In his remarks, Hynes thanked the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, the General Assembly, and Governor Nathan Deal, “all of whom created the conditions by which this day is possible.
“Tomorrow is getting closer and we anticipate extraordinary benefits form this building in the near future.”
Additional labs and classroom space for the natural sciences have been a critical need for Clayton State since the University has expanded from 4675 students in 2001 to more than 7200 students currently. Indeed, given the science course and lab requirements in the core curriculum, the lack of a dedicated science building has limited the University’s enrollment, in effect limiting the number of students who can make their dreams real at Clayton State. The expected completion date for the building is June 2015 with classes to be held starting with the fall 2015 semester.
In addition to meeting the needs of the University, the new science building will help the University meet critical needs in several fields in Atlanta’s Southern Crescent; notably in nursing, healthcare managers for Southern Crescent medical facilities, science educators, and entrepreneurs in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines, enabling more students to graduate with STEM skills. This enhanced workforce will mean a boost to the economy of the counties immediate to Morrow, which provide the majority of Clayton State’s students.
“Engaging undergraduate students in research is an essential part of their preparation for careers in the natural sciences and health sciences,” says Hynes. “The innovative laboratory teaching spaces in this building will expand our support of undergraduate research projects where faculty and students work side-by-side in the learning and exploration process. Providing these opportunities not only benefits those in our science majors, it also impacts allied health students and every student on campus who takes a lab science course for their core requirements.”
Once complete, the science building will be home to classrooms, teaching and research labs, and office and support space. The facility will be 64,000 square feet spread over three stories, and also housing a future vivarium, mechanical penthouse and basement, and loading dock. The building will be LEED Silver Certified, as well as Georgia Peach Belt Green Building certified. The Peach programs recognizes buildings owned or managed by the State of Georgia that optimize energy performance, increase the demand for materials and furnishings produced in Georgia, improve the state’s environmental quality, conserve energy, protect Georgia’s natural resources and reduce the burden on the state’s water supply.
A key milestone in the construction of the science building, the Topping Out Ceremony also featured its own Twitter and Instagram accounts. The Twitter handle is @McCarthyCSU_NSB and Instagram is also McCarthyCSU_NSB.