The Foundational Sciences Building held its ceremonial opening Oct. 1. A small crowd watched as Provost Susana Rivera-Mills, President Geoffrey Mearns, Dean of the College of Sciences and Humanities Maureen McCarthy and other guests cut the ribbon in front of the building.
Rivera-Mills gave opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the ceremony.
“It is so nice to have you all with us here this beautiful, sunny afternoon, and after speaking to Dr. McCarthy, she tells me that she actually arranged for this weather, and for us to be in the shade, so thank you,” Rivera-Mills said.
Mearns thanked many people for contributing to the university’s plan to expand and renovate the STEM facilities on campus.
“This plan will ensure the ongoing quality of our academic programs in these fields for many generations to come,” Mearns said, “The first phase of this plan was the construction of the beautiful building … our Health Professionals Building, which we completed just two years ago. And then, this summer, we already began work on the third and final phase of the plan, the renovation and restoration of the Cooper Science Building Complex.”
Mearns said the completion of the Foundational Sciences Building allows the university to continue with the East Mall project. He said the project, which aims to connect the Village to the heart of campus, was internally funded by Ball State.
“When it's completed next summer, this pathway will run all the way from the north — from the Jo Ann Gora Student Recreation and Wellness Center through the heart of campus into the Village, and connect to a bike path that will lead down to the White River Greenway,” Mearns said.
Mearns also said this pathway will create a stronger connection with the Village and downtown Muncie.
The Foundational Sciences Building is home to the departments of biology and chemistry, and includes 72 laboratories for student and faculty research.
McCarthy said there are approximately 900 undergraduate students studying biology and chemistry. She said these are the students who will benefit the most from this building.
“All of these students have been able to benefit from this magnificent building's state-of-the-art laboratories, which are providing them with extraordinary learning experiences together,” McCarthy said.
After the ribbon was cut, Rivera-Mills invited all guests in attendance to tour the building. Though the building is substantially completed and currently occupied, there are still minor cosmetic details being completed by a contractor, McCarthy said. McCarthy said there are some classes already being taught in the Foundational Sciences Building.