Student Center, Science Wing Set to Open in 2012

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Rarely has Gardner-Webb looked forward to the New Year with more excitement than this winter, as the University anticipates opening, in the fall of 2012, the long-awaited Tucker Student Center and the new science research wing. The buildings represent the culmination of the University’s “Higher Ground Campaign,” and they manifest the generous and continued support of the University’s most faithful friends and donors.

Tucker Student Center

As GWU President Dr. Frank Bonner says, when it opens, the Tucker Student Center will be “the single-most impressive and most transformational building ever built on Gardner-Webb’s campus.” Complete with skylight ceilings and glass walls, open staircases and fresh-air balconies, the Center’s personality was designed to mirror that of Gardner-Webb’s community: open, relational, transparent and unique.

The building will completely transform the student experience by inscribing itself into the center of every aspect of campus life. It will house coffee shops, a food court, the Student Development offices, a chapel, and even a 3-story climbing tower, just to name a few. It also features open-air terraces and balconies on each level, offering breathtaking views of the Lake Hollifield Complex that have never before been possible. The porches will feature double-sided fireplaces, offering warmth on chilly fall and spring evenings when students may want to lounge outside and study or socialize.

“This has been a wonderful collaborative effort between everyone in our office and the administration and staff at Gardner-Webb. I’m so excited to see the finished result that I wish the building was finished tomorrow,” said Roger Holland, the building’s lead architect. With much of the exterior nearing completion as we approach the New Year, that “tomorrow” seems closer than ever.

Read more about the Tucker Student Center.

Science Research Wing

Gardner-Webb’s Withrow Science Building opened for classes in 1962, and for decades, the facility offered sufficient lab space and resources. In recent years, though, the pace of technological and scientific progress, as well as Gardner-Webb’s record growth in enrollment, has revealed a deep need for a science research facility that will enable students to do compelling research in the 21st century. When the University launched its Higher Ground Campaign, building a new science annex topped the list of priorities for strengthening the academic program.

“This facility is desperately needed,” said Dr. Tom Jones, longtime GWU professor of biology. “Because of limited lab space, our students have always had to tear down experiments each day to make way for the next class to use the lab. Now, we’ll have labs for each of our research areas, so our students will be able to set up ongoing experiments.” With the new office space the wing provides, all of the science faculty will be housed inside one centralized building.

The facility will also house new research equipment that, combined with Gardner-Webb’s budget to support undergraduate research, will propel GWU students into the center of the nation’s most critical research conversations in the sciences. Jones expects that will affect not only the quality of Gardner-Webb’s current students’ research, but will draw even more competitive students to Gardner-Webb.

“Most of all,” said Jones, “having new, up-to-date facilities attracts good quality students to campus. I’ve been anticipating this for 30 years, so it’s exciting to see it finally happening.”

The science wing is, as of yet, still unnamed, and numerous naming opportunities remain within both the Tucker Student Center and the science research wing. To get involved with either of these projects, or with the Higher Ground Campaign, call (704) 406-4250.