New Russell Science Center Breaks Ground

Cornell College celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Russell Science Center on Friday, May 5th. The new, four-story Science Center will include classrooms, offices, laboratories, and research spaces for the biology and chemistry departments. The $32 million, 45,600 square foot building is the first new classroom facility to be built on campus in over 40 years.

Following the groundbreaking ceremony Colin Sandeman, Mortenson's Integrated Construction Coordinator provided a virtual reality demonstration. Participants were placed in a virtual laboratory, where they could move and interact with lab equipment.

The Science Center project is being funded completely through philanthropy and is moving forward at an accelerated pace due to a leadership gift of $20 million by alumna Jean Russell to honor her father’s legacy and her experience at Cornell College. "We sincerely appreciate the gift from Jean Russell,” said Cornell College President Jonathan Brand. “This represents the largest [donation] in Cornell history." 

The facility was designed by BWBR Architects and will complet by January 2019. The project team also includes mechanical and electrical engineering by MEP Associates, structural engineering by Ericksen Roed & Associates, civil engineering by MMS Consultants, and landscape architecture by Confluence. 

“Mortenson is extremely proud to partner with Cornell College on this exciting project, said Randy Clarahan, Mortenson Construction Executive. “Our design partner, BWBR along with the leadership, faculty, and staff of Cornell College have truly collaborated to bring us to this milestone event.”

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Did you know that Cornell is one of just two colleges in the country whose entire campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Eight buildings were constructed in the 19th century, including the majestic King Chapel and the Old Sem building that comprised the entire campus in 1853.

With the distinctive One Course At A Time curriculum, Cornell students immerse themselves in just one academic discipline per three-and-a-half-week block. This focus makes it possible for professors to go beyond the traditional lecture format through extended discussions and labs, all day simulations, and off-campus learning for an afternoon or an entire block without competing with other classes.

Click here to learn more about Cornell College.