The long-awaited Grand Opening of the newly renovated Biology building was held on Sept. 14.
The UWG Biology Building first opened in 1972. Much of the building and its technology went untouched, as far as updates go, for more than 40 years. In early 2017, ground was broken on the new additions to the building that have been in the works for more than a decade.
“When we first started planning this construction and renovation of the building, the biology program was the university’s largest and fastest growing academic program with over 800 students,” said UWG President, Dr. Kyle Marrero, in his commencement of the Grand Opening event. “… I can tell you today, that the program has grown even further to 914 students.”
With the growth of the Biology program, as well as the student body as a whole, more space was needed for UWG students. One of the features many students have found exciting about the new facility is the open spaces for students to meet for study groups, collaborate on projects or socialize.
“It’s very spacious,” said Aramide Olorunfem, senior biology student and TriBeta (Biology Club) member. “We can all come in here as majors and have space to study and talk. It feels like a community now.”
UWG students are not the only ones excited about the available space in the new building. Dr. Maurusi Mitra, Associate Professor at UWG, said that she is excited about all the research space and resources available for her students’ research, as well as her own. She is able to design a new course based off of new technology and labs that are now available.
“The University not only renovated the space for us, but we also have a pot of money that was given to the department to purchase any equipment the faculty may want in their research labs,” said Mitra. “Everyone is talking about the building, but it’s what’s going to be in the building that makes up the building. It’s not just walls and chairs that make up a building, but the people living in it and the work they do. That’s what gives the life to the building.”
The Biology Building has been full of life since its opening in the summer. With the open social spaces and quiet study corners the building has been useful for all students. Dr. Christopher Tabit, Biology Department Chair at UWG, also spoke of the new building with pride and sentiment as he has worked closely with the team to make the building happen.
“Sometimes I thought this day would never come … but, as they say, if you build it, they will come. And, you’re here,” said Tabit while addressing the crowd at the grand opening.
Faculty took turns nostalgically calling the old building their “bunker”, remembering smells and discolored ceiling tiles, and reminiscing on their inside jokes such as the “creepy jar room”. However special the building was to the faculty and students that spent so much time there, they are just as grateful and excited for the new one.