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James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

About the Center

Eckerd College Finishing $25M Science Center Full of Eco-Friendly Perks
Tampa Bay Times, 12/05/2012

Eckerd Science Building to Bear Name of Tampa Bay Donors Tom and Mary James

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences
View renderings of the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

Currently under construction, this $25 million, 55,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will house Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry programs, as well as new academic initiatives that explore developments at the Chemistry-Biology Interface. Equipped with the latest in educational technology and scientific instrumentation, the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will buttress our efforts to transform our science curriculum, and will quickly become the hub of the Natural Sciences at Eckerd College.

The 20th century spawned remarkable and sweeping advances in cell biology, genetics, analytical techniques and chemical synthesis. These advances, coupled with the rapid, on-going development of computational and information technologies, has ushered in a 21st century where breakthroughs in the life and biomedical sciences will grow exponentially. The Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will provide faculty with resources to prepare Eckerd students for successful careers in that dynamic and fast-paced environment

A Liberal Arts and Sciences Education

As a liberal arts and sciences institution, Eckerd College has an advantage in educating future scientists. This advantage accrues from a broad general education steeped in literature, history, philosophy, music and art; an education that promotes the idea that the main objective of science teaching is understanding, not the mere acquisition of a technical vocabulary; and an education that holds curiosity, creativity, imagination and beauty in high esteem. The creative impulse that produced Shakespearean sonnets, Chopin études and the surrealist canvases of Salvador Dalí also is responsible for the advances in the sciences during the 20th century. It is the nurturing of this creative impulse that we seek to cultivate in educating future science students at Eckerd; only then will we create a legacy, through our students, of contributing to the kind of innovation needed to compete globally in science and technology.

The Complex

The Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will be complemented by renovations to the current Sheen Science buildings, creating a renewed, expanded environment for scientific learning and discovery. In August 2009, renovations were completed on the 120-seat teaching auditorium and the Chemistry labs of the Sheen Science Complex, and phase two of these renovations will take place after the construction of the new facility. Also enhancing Eckerd's science offerings, the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory will undergo renovations, funded in part by a National Science Foundation grant, during summer 2011.

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences
View renderings of the Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

The new building will feature a single-story facility to include 9 laboratories; two classrooms; three faculty-student research spaces; 14 faculty offices; two covered courtyards; a greenhouse; a lobby and gathering space; several student study areas and meeting rooms; research support spaces and more. The lobby will open completely to allow air flow, when desired.

Supporting the Project

The Center for Molecular and Life Sciences is the centerpiece of the Many Experiences, One Spirit Campaign, which concludes June 30, 2011. The number of Science Fellows - those who made gifts or pledges of more than $5,000 to the facility - topped 200. In total, 331 donors made gifts to support the building thus far totaling nearly $28 million toward the $30 million goal, which will support both the building and renovations to existing Science facilities. To support the Sciences, make a gift today.

Planning Committee: Dr. Laura Wetzel, Project Shepherd, Collegium Chair and Associate Professor of Marine Geophysics; Kelly Debure, Professor, Computer Science; John Duff, Director, ITS; Eduardo Fernandez, Associate Professor, Physics and Mathematics; Denise Flaherty, Assistant Professor, Biology; Diana Fuguitt, BES Collegial Chair; Jennifer Gilkey, Biology Lab and Stockroom Supervisor; David Grove, Professor, Chemistry; Bill Junkin, Director, Instructional Technology; Peter Meylan, Professor, Biology; Alison Ormsby (BES), Associate Professor, Environmental Studies; Chris Schnabel, Associate Professor, Chemistry; Linda Swindall, Registrar; Kirk Wang (CRA), Professor, Visual Arts

Contractor: Biltmore Design

Architect: Cannon Design

James Center Events

Celebration of Science Fellowship
Read President Eastman's remarks.

4th Annual Science Symposium
Featuring research, lectures, posters and more by Eckerd alumni, faculty and students.
Learn more.

Grand Opening Celebration
Images from the event

Grand Opening

Progress Updates

Center for Molecular and Life Sciences

See the construction from ground breaking to grand opening on our Flickr account. See the photos here.