Wielding a pair of ceremonial oversized scissors, Virginia Western Community College President Robert Sandel opened the college’s brand new STEM building to students Monday as classes began for the fall semester.
“This amazing new facility is the result of many years of dedicated, hard work and forethought,” said Sandel. “We expect it to be a destination for students and industry partners who are interested in getting ahead in the region’s growing, STEM-focused economy. It is designed to adapt to our community’s needs and we are so thrilled to show it off.”
The new 72,000-square-foot facility, dedicated to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is the largest structure on campus and was designed with input from faculty and staff to best serve the region’s growing needs. The STEM Building replaces Anderson Hall. The college plans to tear down the old structure, which is more than 50 years old.
Classrooms in the $37 million facility were designed to be open and flexible, allowing students to seamlessly move from a lecture-style setting to group work. White boards cover the walls along with 80-inch TV monitors to replace the traditional chalkboards and projectors that were present in the School of STEM’s former home.
“We want to prepare students for careers that are available now and those that don’t even exist yet,” said Amy White, Dean of STEM. (right) “They will have opportunities to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve them well in whichever field they pursue. Hands-on learning is central to all that we do, and this facility will encourage that in every discipline. Our hope is that this building will not only educate, but also motivate and inspire all the students we serve.”
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