Facelift for Donnelly

Enhancements will give science programs much-needed space

By Magazine Staff  |  Rendering courtesy of Ayers Saint Gross
Rendering of the Donnelly renovations

Loyola’s science programs have long since outgrown the original space the Donnelly Science Center offered when it opened in 1978. Now, as the University’s strategic plan calls for further growth in the sciences, Donnelly is being renovated and expanded to meet both the current and future needs of the programs.

“Here we are in a situation where we’re already space-limited and we are working on enhancing the numbers of students that we have in the sciences. And those things just simply don’t go together,” said Rob Pond, Ph.D., associate dean for natural sciences and associate professor of engineering science.

The renovation and construction of the 15,000- square-foot, $12 million addition, which began in May, will provide class laboratory spaces, faculty research laboratories, offices, a conference room for the natural sciences, student study areas, storage, an animal laboratory, a microscopy center, and a robotics laboratory.

“The place is long in the tooth. It’s served its function well, but it’s getting to be a worn-out building,” Pond said. “The original building and the footprint worked at the time when it was put into play, but gradually the numbers of faculty and students have grown, and we’ve just come to the point where facilities are antiquated and we’re busting at the seams.”

Although the changes underway at Donnelly will not offer a permanent solution, Pond said they are necessary to give the science programs the space they need today for teaching and research—and marketing the programs to prospective students. When the renovated space opens in fall 2011, students will find spacious hallways connecting the wings of Donnelly on all levels, offering display spaces and places for students to gather.

“The building itself will not only give us some facility that we don’t currently have in terms of space, labs, and offices, but it also is lining up to be quite a showcase,” said Pond, who has taught at Loyola for eight years. “It really fits a model that we have here in the school for faculty-student interactions and department interactions.”

Much of the additional space will enhance the expanding biology department, with other space supplementing areas for chemistry, computer science, and engineering. The basement will offer room for future growth, such as the addition of a nuclear magnetic resonance room. “We don’t have a device, but we think if we have a facility to put it in, our likelihood of getting one will really go up,” Pond said.

A $3.25 million grant from the state of Maryland is supporting the building renovation.

For more information, visit www.loyola.edu/donnelly.

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