Renovations to Science Center to Begin Spring 2012

November 30, 2011

View From Annie Russell Theatre

Everything about the new Archibald Granville Bush Science Center reflects both the interdisciplinary nature of 21st century science and the educational philosophy that sets Rollins apart.

More than 40 years have passed since the first student strolled into the Archibald Granville Bush Science Center. Through the years, the three-floor, 90,000-square-foot building has been home to such departments as biology, chemistry and physics, and has been the birthplace to a countless number of innovative research endeavors on such topics as diseased coral, carnivorous plants, nuclear fusion and the development of the solar system. There’s a spirit of curiosity and relentless investigation coursing through its halls, and while its massive renovation planned for spring 2012 will change its aesthetics, that spirit will remain unchanged.

“This major renovation and addition to the 40-year-old Bush Science Center is long overdue and will be instrumental in transforming the center of campus,” shared Vice President for Business and Finance and Treasurer Jeff Eisenbarth, who believes the new building will be a model of environmental construction and cost-saving sustainable energy. “The planned atrium addition and architectural changes will not only transform the interior and exterior look of the existing building but will also result in the development of a pedestrian mall enhancing the center of campus and our College Green. This project, in addition to the recent groundbreaking for The Alfond Inn at Rollins, will dramatically change the look and feel of Rollins for many years to come.”

Preliminary designs for the new Archibald Granville Bush Science Center show the campus’s largest academic building blending seamlessly with the traditional look of the Rollins architecture. A reconfigured interior will provide state-of-the-art learning environments including instructional labs, classroom spaces, research labs and student/faculty collaborative areas near faculty offices.

Faculty offices will be strategically configured to create cross-disciplinary groups of marine biologists, psychologists, computer scientists and mathematicians. These spaces will be scattered throughout the building, close to the activity of classrooms and labs. The Bush Science Center will also increase the number of labs available for independent projects. Rollins is already a leader in undergraduate research, and these new facilities will expand opportunities and help attract the most promising students to Rollins.

The open design of the Bush Science Center aims to encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary approach to the scientific process. Interior glass walls throughout the facility will allow students to easily see and better understand what their peers and professors are working on. The building’s new three-story atrium will serve as a vertical corridor so that all floors feel truly connected. A central café and social spaces located all around the facility will further encourage the kind of spontaneous interactions that spur creative thought.

“The mere presence of such a stunning building will demonstrate the importance of science education and research at Rollins,” said Archibald Granville Bush Professor of Science Thomas Moore, who envisions the redesign and expansion of the center reinforcing the centrality of math and the sciences to a liberal arts education. “With this new facility we will attract and keep the most talented students and faculty; they are the ones who will have the greatest impact on the future of Rollins and the world.”

“This is an important investment in our future,” shared Director of Facilities Management Scott Bitikofer. “Everything about the new Archibald Granville Bush Science Center reflects both the interdisciplinary nature of 21st century science and the educational philosophy that sets Rollins apart.”

Construction will commence in spring 2012, and the opening of the new Bush Science Center will take place in August 2013. Learn more about construction updates to the Archibald Granville Bush Science Center.

By Kristen Manieri

Office of Marketing & Communications
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