RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — Earlham College is in the midst of an ongoing, multi-million dollar effort to transform the eastern Indiana school.
Since 2013, the Quaker-affiliated liberal arts college has completed overhauls on two buildings, erected a baseball stadium, revamped the football field and built a new center for visual and performing arts on the Richmond campus.
The latest project is the Center for Science and Technology, a $16.6 million, 42,000-square-foot building that houses the college's math, physics and computer science departments. That building opened with the beginning of classes last week on the campus about 65 miles east of Indianapolis.
Earlham spokesman Brian Zimmerman said all of the projects represent more than $70 million in investments into the college's future.
"We're investing in the student experience," he told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/1JF0Atu ).
Part of that experience is collaborative and multidisciplinary learning, and the new Center for Science and Technology was designed with that in mind.
The building contains classrooms and study spaces of all shapes and sizes. Student desks have wheels, tables have whiteboard tops that can be written on, and walls are covered with blackboards and sliding glass partitions that can reconfigure a room in minutes.
Computer science professor Charlie Peck said the new building's laboratories are Earlham's "first purpose-built facilities for computer science."
A $1.5 million renovation of the campus' Runyan Center will convert it into a two-story lounge with couches, a performance stage, computer nook and game room. Construction is expected to begin soon and finish in early 2016, Zimmerman said.
"Until now, Earlham hasn't really had a large space designed specifically for student engagement, so I'm really excited that student groups will now have a variety of spaces to choose from," junior and student government head Laura Honsig said in a news release.
Earlham College is also looking into building a soccer complex, paving a road that will allow easy access to all areas of the campus, and creating a new look for the college's main entrance.
About 1,000 students attend Earlham College.
Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com