LaGrange College launches $21 million science building project

Sciences take center stage in $21 million project
LaGrange College announced Thursday the new construction of a 43,000-square-foot laboratory science facility to be located on the corner of Vernon Street and Park Avenue, across the street from the existing Cason J. Callaway Science Building.

The $21 million project will include renovations to the current structure and is scheduled to be completed in January 2017.

Devoted entirely to laboratories, the new facility will house state-of-the-art spaces for instruction in biology, ecology, anatomy/physiology, chemistry and immunology.

“With this building, students pursuing careers in research, medicine, sustainability or allied health fields like physical therapy will have access to innovative technologies in their disciplines,” said President Dan McAlexander. “Also, the new special projects lab, ecology lab and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance equipment will give our faculty the ability to design new undergraduate research opportunities.”

West Georgia and the world need more students trained in science, technology, engineering and math, said Dr. Nickie Cauthen, Chair of the Sciences Department.

“To be competitive in the global economy, we need to be producing more graduates in STEM fields, which are both financially and personally rewarding,” she said. “These new laboratories will make our students even better prepared to launch many science careers.”

Over the last few years, the college’s science alumni have moved on to graduate programs in medicine, toxicology and pharmacy, and into careers as spinal cord trauma nurses, veterinarians and forensic biologists.

Davida White, a freshman Biology major from Snellville, said she is eager to learn in the new facility.

“I am looking forward to being able to work with such modern equipment,” she said. “This new and improved facility will provide more educational opportunities for my fellow students and me.”

Students unveil the new science building renderingThe new structure will contain laboratories and research space, as well as offices for biology and chemistry faculty. When its renovation is complete, the current Callaway Science Building, built in 1972, will serve as classroom space for all of the sciences and will house modern laboratories for physics and computational mathematics, according to McAlexander.

“Working with their chemistry, biology and physics colleagues, our computational mathematics faculty and students will be able to pursue multiple undergraduate research projects in experimenting with and mathematically modeling a wide array of interdisciplinary inquiry,” he said.

Throughout the facilities, “soft” learning areas will be provided for students to gather, collaborate on projects and interact with professors, encouraging connections that enhance student learning.

Batson-Cook Co. of West Point will serve as construction manager for the project. Earl Swensson Associates of Nashville, Tenn., is the architectural firm, and Bill Trivett with Chaseco LLC is the owner’s representative.

Students view the new science building rendering Since 2008, the college has seen enrollment growth of nearly 30 percent. Coupled with the rapid expansion of its Nursing and Exercise Science programs, this increase has placed additional demands on existing classroom and science facilities, McAlexander said.

The college’s emphasis on undergraduate research will be bolstered by the modern equipment, according to Cassie Bates, a sophomore Biology major from Phenix City, Ala.

“I am in the science building constantly, working on my courses and my research,” she said. “The updated labs will allow more hands-on interaction between students and professors. I think this is going to be amazing for all the students, science majors or not.”

In the headlines

LaGrange College launches $21M project to boost sciences – WSB Atlanta, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, WRBL Channel 3 (Columbus), WLTZ Channel 38 (Columbus), WTVM Channel 9 (Columbus), Feb. 5, 2016

LC erecting $21M science building – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 4, 2016

West Georgia Choral Festival will be first of its kind – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 3, 2016



Nursing, one of LaGrange College’s fastest growing programs, just moved into their new, expanded location at West Side Building. We’re celebrating the inaugural class from 1973 this #TBT. #LCTransforms

Women's Basketball
Women’s basketball

Sophomore Lauren Johnson had a game-high 15 points in leading the Panthers (12-7, 6-4 USA South) to a 65-45 USA South win at Methodist on Wednesday. LaGrange hosts USA South foes N.C. Wesleyan and William Peace this weekend. Game times are 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Freshman Marilauren Farr was selected as the USA South Women’s Basketball Rookie of the Week for the second straight week.

Men’s basketball
Men’s basketball

The Panthers (14-5, 5-3 USA South) host N.C. Wesleyan on Saturday at 4 p.m. and William Peace on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Mariotti Gym. The games are key USA South games for LaGrange as the team battles for the regular season conference championship. The Panthers are coming off a 94-87 win at Averett last Sunday as senior Braxton Ford led all scorers with 22 points.

The Panthers open their 2016 season with a three-game series at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. EST and a single game Sunday starting at 1 p.m. EST.

Students in a Jan Term class on the War of 1812 had their research presented Jan.  10 at the Fourth annual Battle of New Orleans Symposium.  More than 100 attendees saw the presentation of their paper, “What leads to victory in a War of 1812 battle.”  Student contributors were Kyle Armstrong, Derek Duran, Austin Fryer, Kyle Gutowski, Katie Hearn, Marlana Hurst, Anthony Jenkins, Alex Murfin, Adam Terrinoni, David Teske, Joe White, and Isaiah Whitfield. Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science, taught the class and presented the paper.

The 27th annual African-American Read In will be held at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday in Manget 308. The event, co-sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English and the Black Caucus of NCTE, marks the beginning of Black History Month. Volunteers read aloud brief selections from African-American literature, with the goal of having more than 1 million readers participating simultaneously nationwide. Although reading selections will be provided at the read-in, participants are encouraged to read their own selections that can be of any length. CE event

Hello Tour
The “Hello” alumni tour
visits Nashville on Tuesday and Knoxville on Wednesday. The gatherings are complimentary and open to everyone. For more information, email or call 706-880-8244.

A presentation about “Essential Interview Skills” will be at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday in Corn Auditorium at Lewis Library. Basic interview etiquette and how to answer difficult questions will be discussed. CE event

The first two episodes of director Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke” will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Corn Auditorium at Lewis Library. The documentary looks at the devastating effects Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans. The final two parts will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the same location. Sustainability CE event

Jan Term students who went to Hawaii with Dr. Melinda Pomeroy-Black, Associate Professor of Biology, will discuss their experiences during a talk at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the Bailey Room. Sustainability CE event

“Understanding Eating Habits” will be presented at 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the library auditorium. Healthy eating habits and the pitfalls that can lead to dangerous eating disorders will be examined. CE event

The college hosts its annual Presidential Scholarship Weekend beginning today (Friday). Approximately 150 top high school students will be on campus. The Presidential Scholarship winners will be announced at a later date.