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JCSU tops off next step in STEM drive
Science Center topping off completed
 
Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014 8:57 am
by Herbert L. White

Johnson C. Smith University’s new Science Center is a step closer to completion.

PHOTO/PAUL WILLIAMS III
Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald Carter signs the final steel beam placed atop the Science Center on campus.

The final steel beam was hoisted atop the four-story building on Monday, with signatures of students, administrators and trustees. The 62,000 square-foot facility is the centerpiece in JCSU’s campaign to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. 

The building, which cost $45 million and will be the tallest on campus, is scheduled for completion in 2015. The Duke Endowment is covering $25 million of the costs.

“As we build this new center, we are raising the bar in STEM education by delivering market-driven programs in emerging fields such as cyber security, robotics, bioinformatics, analytics and renewable energy,” JCSU President Ronald Carter said. 

Duke Energy is providing $1 million in scholarships for STEM and business majors and JCSU’s Center for Renewable Energy, which focuses on renewable energy education, research and community outreach, will be named after the Charlotte-based utility. 

“Every dollar we contribute to education is an investment in the future of our state,” said Stick Williams, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We are proud to support programs that help encourage, engage and excite students about energy, math and science. Our partnership with Johnson C. Smith University is laying the foundation for our future leaders.”

The Science Center will enable the College of STEM to increase admission from 300 to 450 students by 2016.

“This transformation is driven by the market and what the market requires,” said Monroe Miller, chairman of JCSU’s board of trustees. “Recognizing this paradigm shift in the STEM field…we at Johnson C. Smith University are expanding our STEM policy to deliver a more market-driven curriculum so our graduates are prepared to meet the demands of the global workforce.”

The center, designed by Charlotte-based Gantt Huberman architects, includes an atrium, teaching laboratories, offices and a 250-seat lecture hall/auditorium. The facility will also be available for community uses through the JCSU STEM Innovation Center to provide training, mentoring, think tanks and STEM summer camps for students, teachers and professionals.

 

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