Show and Smell

BY BRITTANY JENNINGS // APRIL 20, 2012 // 

If you’ve ever taken a class in the Science Building, particularly in the basement, you probably got the sense that something smelled a little fishy. Or was it musty? Either way, it’s definitely funky.

To be sure, the building needs far more than an air freshener. Constructed in 1961, it needs a renovation. And it’s a need that may soon be met.

Professor Jerry Touger, chairman of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Department, said the administration has verbally committed to some renovations, but specific plans have yet to be solidified. “Curry is discussing the possibility of renovating B1 so the space can be used as lab/research space,” said Touger. “Also, more general renovations to the other lab spaces. Nothing has been finalized yet, except for renovating the department office and adjacent part-time faculty office space.”

Peeling paint and cracked cement in the Science Building are just a couple of problems that Curry needs to address. // PHOTO BY BRIDGETTE VALLEY

Various classes, in particular math and science courses, are held in the Science Building each day. Students in the radio practicum course use the building for weekly meetings, while the large lecture hall on the first floor is also used for evening study hall.

Ashley Mallet, a freshman nursing major, had a chemistry class in a first-floor room last semester and said it seemed newer than most other spaces in the building. She has also taken anatomy and chemistry lab classes in the two different lab rooms.

“They’re old and dirty, and being a nursing major, I think they should definitely be renovated,” said Mallet. “As far as the smell goes, I know it’s from the dissections.”

Students enrolled in science classes have dissected various animals and animal parts, including cats, sheep brains, fetal pigs, cow, and lamb eyeballs and hearts. The smell that seems to linger throughout the building is formaldehyde, which is a preservative used to maintain the specimens for dissections.

“Regarding the smell,” said Touger, “new ventilation has been installed in one of the labs, but some of the part-time faculty still need to be reminded that it’s there and should be used.”

Bridgette Valley, a sophomore nursing major, said the building’s problems go well beyond odor. “The equipment was outdated, not sharp enough and there wasn’t enough for all students,” she said. “Actually having seating and enough lab chairs would be a plus.”

Valley said the building is outdated and should be remodeled because so many classes are held there. Plus, it’s a poor reflection of the college as a whole.

“It could be a turn off (when prospective students are looking at Curry),” she said. “But the building has character. It just needs more of a facelift.”

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