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Canisius College Science Hall … “An Investment in Science Education” . . .

Written by Jane Trabert Schmitt
Imagery by Photography by Sandra Kicman

Excitement and enthusiasm marked the,formal opening in September 2012 of the, new Science Hall at Canisius College in  Buffalo. This sleek, modern center of learning and exploration is a shining result of vision and collaboration.

On September 7,  Canisius College held a formal dedication ceremony for its new Science Hall, a building renovation spearheaded by Cannon Design and Uniland Construction Corporation.  The massive project is “an investment in science education,” according to the Jesuit college on Main Street in Buffalo.  And indeed it is, with a multi-
phase development plan that will see state-of-the-art laboratories on upper floors where students can expand their knowledge of physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology and more.

Right now, though, they’re reveling in the sheer newness of the space, with glass walls and walkways that serve as “windows to science in action” and common areas that are drenched in natural light. They flock to the Simply Pure Café for a cup of coffee to start the day; they gather in clustered, casual seating areas to study or simply hang out; they enjoy the natural beauty of a “Living  Wall” of plants; and they’re inspired by a colorful mural streaming across the wall in Stranczek Commons that urges them to “Go forth and set the world on fire.”

“People are excited to be in a new, state-of-the-art facility,” says David Ewing, Ph.D., dean of arts and sciences at Canisius. “New space always feels good.”

The 240,000-square-foot building has a long history in Buffalo, serving as a W.T. Grant Department Store and, later, as headquarters for BlueCross BlueShield. The college acquired it from Uniland Development Company in 2008 with plans for a signature science  building. The goal is within reach – Phases 1 and 2, which focused on the basement level and ground floor, are complete. A third phase is planned for the upper floors.

Cannon Design led the renovation – a $68 million, environ-mentally-sensitive project targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“It’s really created a whole new atmosphere on campus,” says David Reilly, vice president of Uniland Construction. “This is not your standard college building. There are some really cool features … a lot of openness, a lot of glass.”

The Science Center is designed to “break down barriers  between traditional disciplines and give rise to new knowledge and discoveries,” school officials say.

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