Campus: CSU Fresno -- January 19, 2005

Science II Opens for Classes

Students Asked To Be Cautious As Finishing Touches Applied To New Major Science Facility

California State University, Fresno's new $22 million Science II Building opens for classes today (Jan. 19) -- the largest academic building completed on campus since the Kremen School of Education Building in 1994.

The new classrooms can serve close to 900 students at any one time and will open up many new research opportunities, said Dr. Robert Levine, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. The new building houses departments from the College of Science and Math along with the Criminology Department from the College of Social Sciences.

On any given day, 3,500 to 4,000 student classroom hours will be logged as other departments on campus also will hold classes in the new state-of-the-art facility.

"There are ample and first-rate laboratory facilities for Earth and Environmental Science, Physics and Psychology that will open up many new research opportunities for both our students and faculty," said Levine.

While finishing touches will continue over the next few weeks, the classrooms are ready for instruction, said Gary Wilson, university architect and project director.

"All the buildings are accessible and safe to occupy," said Wilson. "A few areas are still under construction but they are clearly marked with barricades and signs. We ask everyone to please honor those restricted areas as construction teams work hard to finish the last details."

For the first few days of classes, Wilson will have escorts available to direct students to their classrooms. An information table is set up at the southwest corner between the Downing Planetarium and the Science II front entrance for assistance in locating classrooms.

Inclement weather has delayed landscaping, but it should be finalized by Feb. 1, Wilson said.

The new 71,000-square-foot building includes lecture halls and instructional labs for earth and environmental sciences and psychology classes, the Science and Mathematics dean's complex, and graduate research and special instructional areas for the physics department to support the research needs of the Downing Planetarium. In addition, the new building provides space for 109 faculty offices.

A formal public dedication of the new facility is being planned for March 11 and a public open house on Saturday, March 12.

Contact: Tom Uribes (559) 278-5366 or 246-1717 or Shirley Armbruster 278-2795

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