By Roxanne Squires
HOLYOKE, Mass. – Architecture and design firm, DiMella Shaffer, officially announced the forthcoming renovation project at Holyoke Community College’s Center for Life Sciences at Marieb Hall.
This project marks the first partnership between DiMella Shaffer and Holyoke Community College.
DiMella Shaffer of Boston and general contractor, Five Star Building Corp. of Easthampton, Ma. is delivering renovations to 13,000 square feet of the building.
To plan for this project, DiMella Shaffer initially conducted a study to measure the current layout of the facilities against the needs of the faculty and students utilizing the space, according to a statement.
As a result, the project produced a new biotechnology teaching lab, microbiology teaching lab, new classroom and lecture space, an upgrade to first-floor common areas, new student space, a prep lab, new meeting spaces for students, and updated offices for instructors.
Additionally, DiMella Shaffer designed a state-of-the-art cleanroom, a first for a two-year institution in Massachusetts. This teaching environment helps equip students with the knowledge, skills, and proper protocols for working in the biotechnology and life science industries.
The cleanroom has an ISO 8 certification, representing air containing at or less than 100,000 particles per cubic foot. Constructing the cleanroom also involved the modernization of the lab’s acid waste neutralization system to align with industry standards.
Additionally, employees in these industries can use this cleanroom and the university’s offerings to renew necessary certifications to continue their work.
Other features include a new biotechnology teaching lab, microbiology teaching lab, new classroom and lecture space, an upgrade to first-floor common areas, new student space, a prep lab, new meeting spaces for students and updated offices for instructors.
DiMella Shaffer also installed an integrated multi-zone light control system with occupancy sensors and LCD lights.
Furthermore, the new renovations have outfitted the facility with an AV system which facilitates teaching and allows streaming images from the sophisticated lab equipment to the large screen display to share for the entire class.
The project was funded through a $3.8 million Massachusetts Life Sciences Center grant and $750,000 from the HCC Foundation’s Building Healthy Communities Campaign.
The recent renovation at Marieb Hall is the first phase of several that Holyoke Community College hopes to accomplish in the future to further modernize the building, improve sustainability and provide students with the resources and environment to foster growth and sharpen skill.
The new center aims to provide updated facilities for biology, zoology, botany, veterinary technology and animal science, anatomy and physiology, forensic science, environmental science, and sustainability studies.