Second phase of science building renovations brings $2.9 million update

New labs are focal point of updates
Rachel Stengel '14

The second phase of the three-phase renovation project to the Science and Technology Center is now complete.

The $2.9 million project included nearly 4,000-square feet of renovations. Various lab spaces, common areas on the first floor, a computer lab, faculty offices on the third floor and a space for students in the Maurer Center were upgraded to accommodate the growth of science-related programming and to modernize Rider's science facilities. In the past two years alone, programs in health sciences, organizational psychology, actuarial science and computer science were introduced.

The project was funded through bond proceeds.

"Each of these new labs was designed with the specific departments in mind," says Vice President of Facilities and University Operations Michael Reca. "The layout and contents of each lab are much more conducive to conducting research than the previous layout. We also made sure each had enough storage space and workspace for our students and faculty."

On the third floor, the chemistry research lab boasts new lab equipment, storage cabinets, a more efficient ventilation system and countertops specifically designed to withstand chemical spills. The psychology lab added a counseling observation room and a separate area for psychological research experiments.

Four combined lecture-lab spaces on the first floor also received complete makeovers. The labs include four continuous rooms — a preparation area with a lecture space and three laboratories. Each received new cabinetry, countertops and furniture.

Space in the Maurer Center has also been converted for academic use. Health sciences and biology majors will have access to new metabolic, fitness and isokinetic equipment to  analyze physiological functioning of the human body. Other new tools for teaching clinical evaluation skills include heart rate monitors, blood lactate analysis equipment and body composition tools.

Dr. Drue Stapleton, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Health Sciences, says the new space and equipment will help increase learning opportunities for students.

"This equipment gives us opportunities to expand the working relationships between the sciences and our dance program and Athletics, which include research and data collection," he says. "The space and the equipment will provide additional opportunities for student involvement in research, faculty scholarship and recruitment of both future students and faculty."

The third phase of the Science and Technology Center renovations features an upgrade to a lecture hall and classrooms on the second floor. Previous updates to the building include the renovation of SCI-102 to create the state-of-the-art DiDonato Family Lecture Hall on the first floor and the upgrade to SCI-124, an 840-square foot classroom and laboratory. Both projects were part of Rider's ambitious plan to renovate the original 30,000-square foot first floor of the Science and Technology Center.

In total, the project will bring $6.9 million of renovations to the building, which were funded through bond proceeds and donor support.