By Vincent Vernacchio
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College’s expansive curriculum will be broadened once the science building is operable.
The $30 million science building, which is part of an $83 million revamp of the Blackwood campus, will be the hub of expansion for many programs that have high volumes of enrollment. Dr. Wendy Blume, dean of mathematics, science and health careers, says the building is projected to be completed by mid-October of this year and is hoped to be in full operation by spring 2013.
“Currently the biology department uses the lab spaces at almost 100 percent occupancy,” says biology professor Rita Connolly. “There are very few hours available to add new courses with our present buildings.”
She also says with the new specialized labs come anticipated partnerships with four-year schools. Camden County College has already signed an articulation agreement with the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
“A modern building, dedicated and focused on the sciences, has been a goal for the college for a long time now, and this building can make the college a major center for science education, “says Connolly.
According to a Camden County College press release courtesy of media relations manager Susan Coulby, some features of the three-story, 107,000-square-foot Wi-Fi enabled building are 10 biology labs and six chemistry labs, designed around a central preparation area.
Dr. Susan Choi, assistant dean of mathematics, science and health careers, is most excited about the specialized lab space the building will provide.
“The biology department will have an area for research and cell culture and the chemistry department will have a research and instrumentation room,” says Choi.
The building also includes a lab for the medical laboratory technology and veterinary technology programs, a surgical suite for the surgical technology program, 27 lecture rooms, a demonstration kitchen and student-operated café for students of the hospitality and nutritional science programs, and a nursing arts center, which will be the headquarters for the nursing program and will include a nursing skills lab and an expansion of the Dental Hygiene Clinic. Along with all that a greenhouse will be constructed by the ball fields to supplement sustainability and environmental science courses.
Roxane Terranova, the dental assisting program coordinator, expresses much joy about the building.
“We at the Dental Department are very excited about the new science building,” Terranova says. “In erecting a new building, developing a larger student population, and stimulating our economy … well what can be more exciting than that?”