Classes begin in Russell Science Center
The Cornell College community experienced something on Nov. 26, 2018, that hasn’t happened in more than 40 years on campus.
The college opened its first new academic building.
After 18 months of construction and years of planning, students ventured inside Russell Science Center for the first day of classes. Students were filled with smiles and questions. You could hear some asking, “Is this the right door?” or “Where is my classroom?”
“It has been a long time coming. I’m super excited,” said Belou Quimby ’19, a biochemistry and molecular biology major.
While Cornell will officially dedicate Russell Science Center and celebrate the completion of all phases of the Science Facilities Project at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, dozens of students, faculty, and staff gathered for a short ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first day of class.
Dean of the College Joe Dieker told those who gathered that the building was finished ahead of schedule and within budget.
“We started with four goals,” Dieker said. “We wanted a building that would foster engaged learning in the sciences, we wanted a building that would be adaptable for the future, we wanted a building that would be unique in its design, and we wanted a building that would be a visual emblem for the integration of science and the liberal arts. I’m pleased to say we have exceeded all of this thanks to BWBR, our design team; our builders, Mortenson Construction; our faculty and staff who worked on the design and planning; and of course, our donors.”
Lead donor Jean Russell ’65 also welcomed students alongside Dieker and President Jonathan Brand during the opening ceremony.
“You all have been waiting for this for too long, especially the faculty,” Russell said. “So wow, let’s go for it! The technology of sciences has necessitated a building with multifunctional enhanced use and we have it now. Enjoy and excel!”
Russell and Quimby cut the purple ribbon to officially open the building. This is Cornell’s first academic building designed from the ground up for the block plan.
“It’s so dynamically set up,” Quimby said. “We can use it to our advantage to absorb as much as we can.”
The Russell Science Center is part of a larger Science Facilities Project that includes renovations of West Hall and Law Hall. Crews will begin working on West Hall in December of 2018. Once the projects are complete, the college will have nearly 100,000 square feet of STEM space on campus.
The public is welcome to celebrate the official completion of the Science Facilities Project and dedication of Russell Science Center during Homecoming Weekend of 2019.
Jean Russell '65 and Belou Quimby '19 cut the ribbon to officially open the Russell Science Center for classes
Professor Marty Condon teaches on opening day of Russell Science Center
Jean Russell '65 gives an encouraging message to the students right before they take their first classes in the new building
Professor Craig Tepper settles into his new classroom and lab as he teaches in the Russell Science Center
William Deskin Professor of Chemistry Cindy Strong teaches in Russell Science Center
Cornell Trustee and lead donor Jean Russell talks with MaryJo Schmidt '20
Students make their way into Russell Science Center for the first time following the ribbon-cutting ceremony
Russell Science Center