Increasing enrollment and a new science program on the horizon are good enough reasons for Black Hawk College-East Campus to expand its science building.
In early September, the college completed a 8,450-square-foot, one-story addition connected to Building B. The addition includes two biology labs, a shared chemistry and physics lab, faculty offices, a resource room, student commons space and preparatory and storage space.
A grand opening and ribbon cutting was held Monday.
East Campus, 26230 Black Hawk Road, Galva, is five miles south of Kewanee.
The $3 million project, funded through bond funds issued in 2010, has been in the works for the last two years, said East Campus vice president Chanda Dowell.
Construction began in August 2012 and was completed by early September.
Dowell said steady enrollment has created a need for a bigger and better science lab.
“We’ll have more students in the lab,” she said. “Hopefully, we’re putting things in the right order so we can adequately accommodate the increase in students.”
In addition, the college is expecting more science students when it launches a new veterinarian technology program in the fall of 2015.
Veterinarian technology focuses on the nursing aspects of veterinary medicine.
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The new addition “really focuses on how science instruction has evolved,” Dowell said.
The new labs allow instructors, who provided input on the design of the project, to blend lectures and lab work in the same room, which they were unable to do in the original science rooms.
The new labs also are better equipped to accommodate technology, she said. For example, instructors can easily hook in a digital microscope to an overhead projector to display for students.
Two of the labs in the original science wing remain and the college wants to renovate third lab and turn it into a classroom in the next few years, she said.