New Science Building Opens on Clayton State Campus

MORROW, Ga. — The new 58,610-square-foot, $18 million Science Building at Clayton State University has reached final completion and is ready to welcome students. The new facility is intended to provide Clayton State with additional space for required laboratory classes. Construction began on the project in November 2013.

The energy efficient Science Building, constructed by McCarthy Building Companies of Atlanta, will provide the school with ample new high-tech instruction and research space critical for the Natural Sciences Department, as the university has grown from 4,675 students in 2001 to more than 7,200 students today, according to a statement by project architect The S/L/A/M Collaborative Inc. (SLAM) of Atlanta. Thus far, university officials have been required to use waiting lists for lab courses due to the high demand from students and the low inventory of available lab classrooms.

With the addition of the new three-story Science Building, Clayton State can now offer 19 instructional labs, nine research labs, two new 64-seat classrooms and two new 36-seat classrooms. The building also houses offices and support spaces, a vivarium, mechanical penthouse, mechanical basement and a loading dock. It is designed as a modern home for the sciences complete with stacked biology and chemistry suites which integrate research, prep and teaching labs, according to SLAM.

Located near a small pond on the hilly campus, the new Science Building takes advantage of its natural setting, absorbing daylight from across the water via glazed areas in the public spaces. Sustainable initiatives include sun shading, daylight harvesting, and use of recycled materials and rainwater.

Reflective of its goal to promote scientific innovation and education, the Science Building was also designed to achieve Georgia Peach Green Building certification. This certification recognizes facilities owned or managed by the State of Georgia that optimize energy performance, increase the demand for local materials and furnishings, improve environmental quality, conserve energy, protect Georgia’s natural resources and reduce the burden on the state’s water supply, according to a statement by McCarthy.

“Engaging undergraduate students in research is an essential part of their preparation for careers in the natural sciences and health sciences,” said Dr. Tim Hynes, president of Clayton State University, in a statement. “The innovative laboratory teaching spaces in this building will expand our support of undergraduate research projects where faculty and students work side-by-side in the learning and exploration process. Providing these opportunities not only benefit those in our science majors, they also impact allied health students and every student on campus who takes a lab science course for their core requirements.”