A New Vision for the Science Building | New England College

A New Vision for the Science Building

January 30, 2024
Science Building in Henniker

This article was published in the Fall 2022 issue the New England College Magazine and has been updated to reflect the receipt of federal funding.

Built in 1971, the Science Building served as the anchor for the south end of campus for decades. When constructed, the building was considered state-of-the-art and reflected design trends of that period. NEC now looks to renovate and breathe fresh life into this much-used space.

“With the advent of NEC’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and NEC’s desire to expand our STEM curriculum, particularly in clinical healthcare,” stated Bill Deptula, Vice President of Advancement, “we acknowledge that our current facilities do not match our aspirations.”

NEC envisions upgraded and modernized laboratories, new nursing laboratories, enhanced natural lighting, expanded spaces for student-faculty interaction, and an improved front lobby.

The Science Building originally included a large lecture hall that was eventually converted into a performance space for NEC’s Theatre program. With the construction of the Rosamond Page Putnam Center for the Performing Arts, NEC can now reimagine that space, perhaps as a lecture hall again or additional laboratory space.

NEC places a higher priority on renovations to the inside of the building but continues to be intentional about the beauty of its campus. Plans for the Science Building will include a new façade that will blend with the aesthetics of the neighboring Lyons Building and Putnam Center that were built in recent years.

To fund these renovations, “NEC is pursuing multiple avenues of financial support, including private corporations, foundations, individual giving, and federal grants,” explained Deptula.

Most notably, NEC applied for and received federal earmarked funds of $2 million through New Hampshire Representative Ann Kuster and United States Senator for New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen.

NEC’s existing science programs continue to see success with student research, federal grant support for our Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and two faculty members who have received federal research grants. As NEC moves further into STEM academic programming, a well-equipped Science Building will help take student and faculty success to the next level.

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