By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
In the last several years, homecoming has been a time for Eastern New Mexico University to show off campus improvements, and last weekend’s homecoming weekend was no different.
The university unveiled its newly remodeled science building Friday afternoon.
University officials now believe ENMU is now in possession of the best science education facility in the region.
According to Jim Constantopoulos, chair of ENMU’s Department of physical sciences, the most noticeable improvements have been to classrooms and labs.
“This is a great addition to existing facilities. It gives us modern, safe classrooms and labs to teach science at ENMU,” Constantopoulos said.
There is also a new elevator, remodeled restrooms and lab work stations, as well as a 9,750 square-foot addition containing four specialty labs and a conference room with a west-facing view of the campus.
Stephen Gamble, ENMU president, explained that the science building was under construction for about two years, but he believes the wait was worth it.
“This is truly a state-of-the-art science instructional facility,” Gamble said. “You will not find a better facility like this anywhere in the region.”
Planning for the remodeling began in June 2005. Of the more than $10 million needed for the project, $7.5 million was accessed through a 2006 General Obligation Bond. The building also has more than $20,000 worth of high-tech Intel computer equipment.
Suzanna Jones is a microbiology student pursuing her master’s degree at ENMU.
“We now have a comfortable building that our students can grow in so they can become future scientists,” Jones said at Friday’s ribbon-cutting.
The building was originally constructed in 1949 at a cost of $420,000. Modifications to the building were made in the late 1950s, followed by extensive renovations in 1978. The building hosts university classes and labs for chemistry, biology, geology and physics.
The building was reopened in August and has been hosting classes and labs all semester.
“The building is a great teaching tool, as well as a great recruiting tool,” Constantopoulos said. “It’s also a wonderful asset that will allow us to teach and train future ENMU students for years to come.”