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The Voice of the Black Community


Catalyst campus
JCSU homecoming marked by building boom
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:15 pm
by Herbert L. White


Johnson C. Smith University is showing its growth for homecoming.

Johnson C. Smith University officials will break ground on a 62,000 square-foot Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Center on Oct. 25 as part of the school’s twin campaigns to boost enrollment and revitalize Historic West End. The school is opening its new HealthPlex facility on Oct. 26.

JCSU officials will break ground on the 62,000 square-foot Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics center on Oct. 25 at 8 a.m. and open the HealthPlex fitness center on Oct. 26 at 7:30 a.m.

JCSU has been undergoing a building boom over the last two years as part of its revitalization of the Northwest Corridor. Last year, the school opened its first off-campus facility, the Arts Factory, a performing arts center and theater on East Trade Street. Last month, the adjoining Mosaic Village, an 80-suite apartment complex, opened for student residents.

The STEM center, funded by a $25 million Duke Endowment grant, will be the largest building on campus and sit between the James B. Duke Library and Jane M. Smith Memorial Church. JCSU’s STEM program includes studies in renewable energy, medical informatics, homeland and cyber security, analytics and robotics. The facility is expected to boost the university’s enrollment by 450 students by 2016.

“As we continue to build this unique new model for colleges and expand beyond the traditional STEM education, we will ensure our graduates have the contemporary curriculum that provides the expertise they need,” said Magdy Attia PhD, dean of the College of STEM.

The center, designed by Gantt Huberman Architects, will include a common atrium, teaching laboratories, offices and a 250-seat lecture hall-auditorium.

“The JCSU leadership has worked for months with architects to create an optimal learning environment for interaction among students faculty and visitors,” President Ronald Carter said.JCSU is 18th in the nation in graduating African Americans in computer and information sciences and women make up half the school’s STEM majors. Women hold a quarter of all U.S. STEM degrees.

The 5,600 square-foot HealthPlex, which will house the Applied Health Research Center and Wellness Department, is next to Brayboy Gymnasium. The facility includes state-of-the-art fitness equipment and services to promote health and fitness goals for students and Historic West End residents through research in health, human performance and athletics.  Some of the amenities included within the facility are free-motion incline treadmills, fitness tracking software, calorie management systems, strength and resistance machines, free weight training area, and a group exercise studio.

In addition to physical fitness areas, the HealthPlex has a pair of multi-purpose classrooms with flat-screen TVs and computer technology, kitchenette for nutritional cooking demonstrations and locker rooms.



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