New State of the Art Science Building at Austin College - - Texoma news, weather and sports

New State of the Art Science Building at Austin College

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SHERMAN -- The idea for the new science center has been around since the turn of the millennium.  It was designed in 2007 and construction started more than a decade ago.

Now, all these years later the "IDEA Center" is finally a reality.

It is one of the most popular buildings on campus. The IDEA Center, a 38 million dollar science facility. The center is 103,000 square feet.  Enough space for 32 lab classes, 16 lecture rooms, 40 offices, and a 108 seat auditorium.

"I have heard a lot of reaction from the students especially the juniors and seniors who spent two or three years in the other science building. They are in awe. They just think this is a great building," explains Steven Goldsmith, Dean of Sciences at Austin College.

The IDEA Center also includes two observatories.

"One on the roof top, which you can actually see from (highway) 75 its our state of the art Adam's Observatory. It has the largest telescope of the north Texas region. We have a second observatory and that is in the atrium the main floor of the IDEA center, its our Solar Observatory. The meridian line runs true north, south through the building and a hole in the roof, now really its a sky light, but a hole shines sunlight down and at high noon the image of the sun crosses this meridian line," explains Dr. David Baker, the Director of the Adam's Observatory and physics professor for Austin College.

The building was specifically designed to accommodate classes in several branches of science.

"For instance the organic teaching lab has 8 or 10 glass backed fume hoods and each of the fume hoods has got half a dozen or more pipe services into the hood," explains Goldsmith.

"The building certainly solidifies our reputation as a top place for undergraduate study of science and technology," says Dr. Marjorie Hass, the President of Austin College.

Students and staff are already feeling the difference that they say will help enhance their learning.

"The biggest benefit is the natural light that occurs in this building. Its bright, its cheery. People want to be here. They want to learn. You can see the excitement on the students and the faculties faces just to be in this cool new building," says Dr. Baker.