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Science and nursing programs to gain new ‘green’ home

Rogers Science and Health Building Rogers Science and Health Building

The $20 million facility will offer 58,000 square-feet of well-equipped classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, faculty and staff offices, and practicum areas. A variety of other academic departments also will use the building's general-purpose classrooms and 100-seat lecture hall.

The new lab space will serve a variety of disciplines: anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, computer science, embryology, environmental science, genetics and developmental biology, geology, mathematics, microbiology, nursing and physics.

In conjunction with the Cato School of Education, the Rogers Science and Health Building will help Queens address the shortage of scientists, mathematicians and computer technicians in America's workforce, and prepare tomorrow's science and mathematics educators for the classroom. According to the Business-Higher Education Forum, American elementary and secondary schools will need 280,000 new science and math teachers before 2015 to keep up with teacher retirement and attrition, as well as growth in the population of school-aged children.

"This new building will revolutionize how science is learned at Queens," said Dr. Reed Perkins, chair of the environmental science department at Queens and the 2007 N.C. Professor of the Year.  "Clearly, for students interested in working in a cutting-edge environment and becoming a leader in science or math, Queens is now the place to go.  The world needs the kind of scientists that come from Queens - grounded in the liberal arts, but thoroughly trained in 21st century science and technology."

Additional space in the building will be devoted to an innovative rooftop greenhouse, where students can manipulate plant growth conditions and environmental factors in ways not possible in a traditional laboratory, and an adjoining herbarium for the study of plant specimens. As this extraordinary new facility will become home to the Environmental Science Department it will be used to demonstrate conservation practices with an abundance of "green" design features.

The building will also house the main administrative offices and laboratories of the Presbyterian School of Nursing in the Blair College of Health.

Studies by the U.S. Green Building Council indicate that "green" school design is a cost-effective way to enhance student learning, reduce health and operational costs, and ultimately increase academic quality and competitiveness. Students learning the principles and practices of environmental conservation will be able to see them at work in the building that surrounds them: CFC reduction in the HAC equipment, recycled content, low-emitting materials, day lighting, water-efficient landscaping, and other green features.

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