LEHMAN TWP. — Penn State Wilkes-Barre dedicated its new science center Wednesday, showing off $3.5 million in renovations.
The centerpiece of the three-year project is the upgraded chemistry lab, which was built in the 1970s. The new lab includes LED lighting, safety showers, eyewash safety units, student work stations, new chemical storage areas, and completely renovated faculty research and office space. The new lab also has new floor finishes, paint, ceiling tiles, and window coverings.
Two painted panels are located on the back wall of the lab; one is red and the other is green. The red represents acids and green represents neutrals in keeping with the chemistry theme.
“By renovating the science center building this past summer, Penn State Wilkes-Barre is taking a big leap forward to better educate students in the STEM areas and prepare them to enter and succeed in STEM professions,” said Dr. Dale Jones, chancellor of the Wilkes-Barre campus.
The building also includes two new classrooms with up-to-date technology and new carpets. Funding to remodel the areas came from The University Committee on Institutional Facilities, which awarded PSU Wilkes-Barre $101,541.
Other changes include a makeover of restrooms and new furniture in the common area, which students picked out themselves. Students wanted tables with power outlets to charge phones and computers as well as a comfortable couch to study or relax on, said Rachel Olszewski, a representative from the chancellor’s office.
Barry Pawloski, president of the Student Government Association, thanked university administration for all the new features in the renovated building during the dedication ceremony.
“We have air conditioning finally,” he said, which produced a few laughs from audience members. Pawloski also said the new facility will help students achieve their academic goals and prepare for life after college.
“This is not just a building. It’s a building full of Penn State students working hard every day to make their future a reality.”