10 Random Things We Love about the New Bush Science Center
by Laura J. Cole ’04 ’08MLS | photos by Scott Cook
1. Stargazing on the Roof
The 1,500-square-foot astronomy pads on the second floor roof are designed solely for exploring the cosmos. The telescopes hook up to computers located in the basement, where students and faculty like astrophysicist Chris Fuse can acquire detailed images of the galaxy.
2. The Plants Are Local
Outside the building, Rollins facilities department has planted more than 15,000 new plants and 137 new trees. They’re all native Florida species, except for one: crape myrtles.
3. Collaborative Atmosphere
In the old building, each discipline was relegated to its assigned floor. Physics, first floor. Biology, second floor. Computer science, third floor. Not anymore. A physicist can now be found sharing an office suite with a biologist. A chemist with a mathematician. It’s all part of the design to make the sciences more collaborative and to encourage creative connections.
4. The Views
The views of campus from BSC are stunning. From the atrium, you can watch the sunrise over the Annie and the Chapel. And from student lounges on the second and third floors, students can study while keeping an eye on the activities happening on The Green.
5. Red Chairs
Each of the red and gray chairs in the atrium is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. Emeco, the chair’s manufacturer, worked with Coca-Cola to convert recycled PET plastic into tough, scratch-resistant chairs intended for heavy-duty use.
The new café—located on the first floor—offers fresh fruit smoothies. We’re digging names like Tar Blue (banana, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry), the Foxberry (blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry), and Mercedes Benz (pineapple, mango, blackberry, and blueberry). They’re the perfect in-between class pick-me-ups.
7. Student Spaces
The old joke about science majors never leaving the building? Now they may not want to. The building has a slew of spaces just for students. From smaller spaces outfitted with flatscreen TVs to larger communal lounge areas, BSC is designed to make students feel at home.
8. Cypress Trees
Cypress trees do more than just bring part of Florida’s natural beauty to campus; they help with stormwater treatment. “We collect water, and we have to store it and allow it to percolate through the sandy soils and recharge the aquifer,” says Scott Bitikofer, director of facilities management. “They’re both drought tolerant and standing-water tolerant, so for a retention pond where the water level is going to fluctuate, cypress trees are amazing.”
Want to have a spontaneous brainstorming session or work out an equation? BSC has you covered. Classrooms and student spaces throughout the building feature floor-to-ceiling whiteboards.
10. Confocal Microscope
A microscope is a microscope is a microscope, right? Not when you put a confocal microscope on the campus of a liberal arts college. Sure, we have biologists using it to examine cells. But there’s also a physicist looking at the thermodynamics of proteins, an archaeologist determining a ceramic’s origin, a sculptor exploring cancer cells as an inspiration for his work, and a photographer using high resolution data samples as a way to explore composition.