So the first question you have to be asking yourself is, "what is an integrated science center?"
Well, up until about eight months ago we didn't know either, but the vision of the College is to now integrate a number of the sciences in a multi-phase project that will provide for enhanced collaborations and interdisciplinary initiatives.
Fortunately, the Chemistry Department will be the first to occupy the initial phase of this project, which is slated to be completed sometime in early 2008. A new four-floor wing will be attached perpendicular to the west end of Rogers (the end adjacent to Millington) and extend all the way down to Landrum Drive. Chemistry will occupy the middle two floors, a new vivarium will be on the ground floor, and biology research labs will be on the top floor. While the overall floor plan and space is less than ideal due to budget constraints, the overall value of the project to the future of the department provides substantial compensation.
All faculty requiring laboratory research space will have a minimum of ~920 nsf, a far cry from the cramped quarters many of you may remember from your research experiences in the department. All lower level teaching labs will have one hood for every two students, thus memories of the odors wafting into the hallways of Rogers on a weekly basis will truly be a thing of the past. Five separate instrument rooms will be provided for spectroscopy, GC-MS, polymer, X-ray, and specialty instrumentation. The NMR facility on the ground floor will have space for two systems. The air handling system of the building will allow for additional hoods in the future as faculty needs change. Virtually all labs will be equipped with central air, nitrogen, natural gas and vacuum services, as well as liquid nitrogen services on every floor. There will be numerous alcoves and a large open area on each floor for students and faculty to gather. Faculty offices will be clustered equally on two floors relative to assigned research space. If you can imagine looking down the current Rogers Hall and adding another 120 ft, that will be the length of each hallway; certainly long enough to do windsprints and keep the faculty in shape. We hope to post schematics of the floor plans for the new addition on the department's web site in the near future if you would like to see what is planned and monitor the progress as construction begins.