Saint Mary’s College will celebrate Friday afternoon the completion of the expansion and renovation of its Science Hall. The project is the result of a $10 million donation by the family of former trustee Jennifer Mathile Prikkel in 2011, which is among the largest gifts in the college’s history.
The expanded facility includes various state-of-the-art research and teaching labs, faculty offices and group study areas, among other amenities. It also includes a new greenhouse, which was completed in the summer of 2014.
"The transformation of Science Hall is amazing and well-deserved," said Jennifer Mathile Prikkel, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 1995. "When my parents and I toured the facility in 2011, we began to imagine a future that Saint Mary’s was destined to create. A future where innovative and creative solutions are discovered by faith-filled and compassionate women who are also world renowned scientists."
Don Paetkau, chair of the Department of Biology, says the changes made to the building have made it possible for faculty and students to work as a research community. "We are investigating emerging diseases, cancer, the nature of genomes and the consequences of climate change. Our research includes a quest to better understand echolocation in bats, which could lead to improvements in technology we all use every day. And we are experimenting with paper analytical devices (PADs) to detect pharmaceutical and water quality. We look forward to the discoveries that will be made in our new labs."
Saint Mary’s will hold a dedication ceremony at the Science Hall at 3:00 p.m. Friday.