NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Westminster College is digging in deep when it comes to the future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and marked the occasion by breaking ground on an $11.2 million addition project at Hoyt Science Center.
“With STEM majors accounting for nearly one-third of Westminster’s student body and all students completing mathematics and science courses, the need to address our STEM facilities was critical,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson. “It is important that Westminster’s education and research spaces match the quality of our faculty and students.”
The addition is phase three of the Hoyt Renovation and Expansion project that started in 2016. When campus leaders broke the ground on Friday, they kicked off the construction of an of the 27,000-square-foot, three-story wing. Work crews are expected to complete the project by 2021. It will provide six new teaching laboratories, three research labs, along with faculty offices and student collaboration spaces. The wing will also serve as the home for the Center for the Environment.
Westminster has already received lead funding for the project: $4.5 million in committed funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as more than 50 five-, six- and seven-figure donors, according to Matthew Stinson, vice president for institutional advancement.
The Hoyt Renovation and Expansion Project began in 2016 to address the needs of Westminster’s dedicated faculty and the growing number of STEM students, including a new nursing program.
Phase one and two created the home for that program along with the neuroscience facilities and the Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall. Phase one and two also managed other structural and aesthetic renovations and upgrades to the existing Hoyt structure, which was originally built in 1974 with an addition built in the 1980s.
Phase four will address spaces needed for future expanded academic programming, as well as unrenovated areas from the project’s first two stages.