As Franklin College President Thomas Minar prepares to step down at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, he says the school is well-prepared to leverage its science heritage well into the future. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business With Gerry Dick, he said the school’s new $17 million Health Science Center features "the most modern science facilities imaginable." Minar, who has been the school’s president since July 2015, says a fundraising campaigning topping a $10 million goal was a key driver in getting the project done.

Minar told Gerry Dick he believes science will be a "significant piece of the future of the college."

Franklin broke ground on the project in May 2017, and opened the facility for use in January. The effort included a 21,000 square-foot addition to Barnes Hall and the renovation of Barnes Hall, which was built in 1927. The center nearly doubles Franklin’s previous lab space, featuring 12 teaching labs and three student research labs. Minar says it also includes modern sustainability features, a rain garden and an outdoor classroom.

The center was founded in part by the school’s $10 million Campaign for the Sciences. The campaign exceeded its goal. Minar said that was due in large part to a "game-changing" $2.5 million commitment from Dr. Margot Lacy Eccles. The science center’s Lacy Labs are named in her honor.

Minar this week informed Franklin’s board of trustees that he will step down from his position at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. He joined the school in July 2015, after previously serving as vice president for development and alumni relations at American University in Washington D.C. Minar says he is looking at multiple "distinct possibilities" for his future.

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