The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Fifth floor addition to Acopian Engineering Center unveiled

Photo by Naomi Shertzer for The Lafayette
The fifth floor expands the capacity of the engineering program and makes more collaborative spaces for students.

The expansion of the Acopian Engineering Center is officially complete after over a year’s worth of planning and construction. 

On Oct. 21, the Engineering Division hosted the Acopian Engineering Center Renovation Celebration, wherein donors, trustees, administrators and students attended a brief ceremony and toured the updated facility. Though the event celebrated the newly renovated spaces, the speaker focused on how the new Acopian Engineering Center provides an inclusive hands-on learning environment.

“We want to make students realize the world is about solving problems,” President Nicole Hurd said during her welcome address at the celebration. “We should help teach students not what to think, but to think.”

The new spaces, in particular the Scott Pavilion, were designed with this purpose in mind. Many of the classrooms feature glass walls, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards and tables instead of individual desks for students to sit at.

“It seems like Lafayette wants to grow in size or quality of education so they kind of do need to have some renovation or some expansion of the engineering building,” Joy Herrera ’24 said.

The updates to the engineering building were largely pioneered by former director of the engineering division Scott Hummel and his team. The renovations were executed over the past few years.

“We could not keep up with the demand of liberal arts students who wanted to be in engineering,” Hummel said.

The renovations added 18,000 square feet of learning space to the engineering division. The new floor area alone is comparable in size to that of the Oechsle Center for Global Education, according to Hummel.

Associate professor of mechanical engineering Dan Sabatino said that the new spaces will draw students from all over campus.

“Before these renovations, the Acopian Engineering Center was not a place that a student on campus might go to if they didn’t have a class there,” he said. “Now students are starting to recognize that the spaces in here are welcoming. They are bright. They are comfortable places to work, and [students] will come here to work just like they will go to any other space.” 

Marky Rusas ’23 echoed Sabitino’s sentiment. Rusas believes that the renovated building now provides “the type of environment where people will get to work together.”

“There’s a lot of potential with that space for connection between people,” Rusas said.

Correction 11/4/2022: A photo used in a previous version of this article was not of Acopian Engineering Center’s fifth floor. The photo has been replaced.

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Naomi Shertzer
Naomi Shertzer, Design Director
Making the paper pretty in print since 2021.

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