The ribbon was cut Nov. 21 on a three-year, $6 million renovation of the chemistry labs and Resource Center on the second floor of Hamilton Hall.
UNL leaders from across campus helped celebrate the opening of the new spaces, which David Berkowitz, chair of the Department of Chemistry, called the “hallowed ground of Hamilton Hall.”
“The concept of these spaces goes all the way back to the house that Hamilton built, which is that as educators, to teach chemistry to the masses, we need a place for chemists and students to congregate,” Berkowitz said.
Berkowitz acknowledged many whose efforts could be seen in the finished product, including Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Lance Perez, who was instrumental in the funding of the project, and associate professor of chemistry Mark Griep, who oversaw the design of the renovation.
Perez said the project will transform how chemistry is offered to undergraduates and that it further cements UNL’s reputation in both the Big Ten and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.
“This represents and reaffirms our commitment to providing the highest quality undergraduate education that we can,” he said.
This renovation began more than three years ago. Under the plan, eight 100-level chemistry labs were remodeled to create 24 lab spots per room. With the completion of the project, students are utilizing the highest-quality laboratory design, the latest in audio/visual technology and innovative storage for inquiry-based teaching assignments.
The new Resource Center has huddle rooms designed for small group studying or tutoring. The improved center also boasts lecture instructor offices for enhanced student access. Information monitors have been placed in various locations to notify students when teaching assistants are available, of upcoming events, chemistry news, chemistry trivia and student feature stories.
The renovations are part of an effort to enhance the student learning experience and prepare for university-wide growth goals.