College to break ground on new science center in May

Courtesy+of+the+Presidents+Office

Courtesy of the President’s Office

Claire Grunewald

With a groundbreaking ceremony planned in May 2017, the college will begin its construction of the new Integrated Science Center (ISC) on Anderson Courtyard. According to Campus Architect Mary Wilford-Hunt, the building is expected to be open for use in August 2019.

The new building will be located in between the Acopian Engineering Center and Watson Hall, with the entrance facing Anderson Courtyard. The plans also include adding two additional walking paths on Anderson Courtyard leading to the building.

Birdseye view of future location of ISC (Courtesy of the President's Office)
Birdseye view of future location of ISC (Courtesy of the President’s Office)

The college had selected Payette, a Boston architectural firm, to help with the design and planning of the ISC. According to an article on Payette’s official website, the ISC will be home to biology, computer science, environmental science, expansion space for neuroscience and the IDEAL program, an entrepreneurship program creating a bridge between engineering and the liberal arts.

The building will be 102,000 sq. ft. and will consist of five floors, a open-air courtyard and several laboratories and classrooms.

While designing this new structure, sustainability initiatives were also taken into consideration. The Project Team developed several guiding principles for the ISC, one of which is to create “an environmentally responsible model of sustainability and serve as a living laboratory for sustainability.”

The team aims to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification at a minimum, which is awarded by the organization U.S. Green Building Council for reducing the negative environmental impact of a building.

Wilford-Hunt wrote in an email that a broad array of energy saving innovations are being considered, including filtered fume hoods, air quality monitoring, enthalpy wheels, fan coil units, LED lighting and several others.

Before construction can begin, Facilities Operations, currently located where construction will take place, will be relocated to newly renovated buildings along Bushkill Drive. According to the Director of Capital Project Meghan Madeira, the old Hummel Lumber Building on the corner of Bushkill and Deitrich Road is scheduled to be complete in early May.

In order for construction to begin on time, the project must get the approval from various regulatory agencies. According to Wilford-Hunt, the ISC has already received Land Development approval from the City of Easton. However, it still has to be reviewed by the Environmental Protection Department of Pennsylvania and the Northampton County Conservation District, and building permits must also be attained.

While reviews are still need, it is unlikely that the ISC designs will not get approved, according to Madeira and, if there is a problem, the design well be altered as needed.