After more than two years of construction, the Integrated Science Center opened to students of the College of William and Mary for the fall semester.
The building, which is nearly complete, houses the chemistry department as well as molecular biology labs and a vivarium for the biology department.
Chemistry chair Gary Rice gave The Flat Hat a tour of the new state-of-the-art building. He called it “the most complex building the College has ever undertaken [to build].”
The ISC boasts safety features that the aging Rogers Hall lacked. Such additions include fume hood alarms, liquid nitrogen sources on every floor to avoid dangerous transportation of the chemical throughout the building and an air circulation system on the fourth floor.
The ISC is also eco-friendly. Timed lights are used throughout the building, and drains are equipped with chemical neutralization systems so that harmful chemicals will not drain into the ground or nearby bodies of water.
Faculty research space has also been greatly expanded. In Rogers Hall, faculty members had between 300 and 500 square feet, but now each faculty member has access to around 900 square feet of laboratory space.
A variety of instrument rooms are located throughout the ISC, including rooms dedicated to the $155,000 Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometer and the laser system for spectroscopy experiments.
According to Rice, much thought went into the arrangement of rooms and space in the ISC. Faculty offices are equipped with mini-conference tables.
Aesthetics were also a major component of the construction. One accent wall of research laboratories is painted yellow and one wall is painted blue in teaching labs. Glass cases with antique chemistry equipment also offer visitors and students a glimpse into the history of chemistry.
The completion of the ISC is only the first phase of what is to be a three-part renovation project. The second phase is the complete renovation of Rogers Hall, which is already underway, and the third phase of construction will link the science center to Rogers Hall along Landrum drive.