Central Campus unveils new science building

Showcasing an impressive three-story periodic table of elements as a reminder of  prolific scientific advancements, the new San Jacinto College Central Campus science building is complete with amenities to prepare graduates for competitive careers within the field.

The 113,000-square-foot building is comprised of 54 percent lab space and 30 percent lecture hall and classroom space. Natural light is a significant feature of the LEED-certified building, which also includes a recycling center and public and student gathering areas located on all three floors. There are 12 biology, four chemistry, three geology, and two physics laboratories. All instructional spaces include integrated projection equipment.

“For more than 10 years, we have proposed a science building that would match the quality of science instruction we deliver to prepare our graduates for Houston’s environment of advanced scientific research,” said Dr. Ann Cartwright, chair of the Central Campus department of physical science. “This facility will not only accommodate our faculty and students, but will help with our commitment to science outreach to school children and the surrounding community.”

Each year, the science department produces graduates who move on to universities to study such fields as chemical engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, health and medicine, and to conduct further research in areas like genetics at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. San Jacinto College faculty members work closely with universities across the region to ensure successful transfers of students, often inviting guest speakers from education and industry to discuss career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

“We have always been proud of the fact that the science education our students obtain here prepares them for seamless transfers to universities,” said Larry Petersen, chair of the Central Campus department of biological and agricultural sciences. “Now, with more modern science equipment, the skills our students take with them will be right up there with today’s scientific technology.”

The new building is a part of a $295 million capital improvement bond referendum approved by voters in 2008 that funds new facilities and renovations at all three San Jacinto College campuses. In addition to the science building, the Central Campus has already held grand openings for a new transportation center and health sciences expansion.

“Science education deserves the very best in facilities as we work to produce top graduates in STEM,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College chancellor. “We extend our sincerest gratitude to the community for all of the years of supporting our student success initiatives and for recognizing what it takes to provide the highest quality of education and facilities for tomorrow’s workforce, including our future scientists.”