UCCS schedules rededication ceremony for Centennial Hall

By Staff

A dedication ceremony for a renovated science building at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 19.

The reopening follows a yearlong, $17.1 million renovation and includes a renaming from Science Building to Centennial Hall.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak will welcome Colorado State Treasurer Cary Kennedy as a special guest. Members of the CU Board of Regents, as well as campus faculty, staff and students, also will attend the ceremony.

In June, the CU Board of Regents approved a name change for the 1980s-era Science Building to avoid confusion with a new Science and Engineering Building at UCCS. Science and Engineering opened in Aug. 2009.

"The renovation of Centennial Hall, coupled with the opening of our new Science and Engineering Building last fall, gives UCCS some of the finest facilities for science education and research in the state of Colorado," said Tom Christensen, dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. "The impact of these facilities on student learning will be substantial."

Gary Reynolds, executive director of facilities services, said the renovation transformed one of the most dated buildings at UCCS to one that incorporates modern technology and state-of-the-art laboratories.

"From the new welcoming entrances and landscape, to the interior hallways, to modern teaching and research labs, to the completely renovated auditorium, past visitors to the building will not recognize it come this fall," Reynolds said.

The new Centennial Hall features two new smart classrooms, electronically enhanced lecture halls that provide students immediate access to computer, multimedia and network technology. There are 10 teaching labs with audio and visual capabilities that allow faculty to teach and conduct lab experiments without changing rooms and 14 research labs.

All labs are designed specifically for the three disciplines permanently housed in the building: chemistry and biochemistry, anthropology and geography. They also are accessible to those who use wheelchairs.

A new auditorium features 290 seats of new, leatherette material with maple wood accents. High-definition video with surround sound and improved lighting will enhance lectures, academic presentations and many other functions. A new podium, curtains and screen also are included.

The Science Learning Center, one of the Project EXCEL learning facilities, is upgraded and 75 percent larger. The SLC features a reception desk, offices and meeting space in addition to a larger main room and adjoining 32-station computer room.

Outside, a mini-amphitheater will hold about 30 people. There also will be a Xeriscape demonstration garden.

The Science Building was built in 1980 to serve a student population of fewer than 5,000 students. In summer 2005, unfinished ground floor storage space was renovated to create four large classrooms. In late August 2006, UCCS presented plans for renovations, which began June 1, 2009.

The project was funded by the state of Colorado through certificates of participation with debt service from federal mineral lease grant funds that are returned to the state. The funds were obtained by the state treasurer for the renovation of the Science Building under legislative authority.