By Teresa Hagen
Above left: Front of the new Hall of Science building. Photo at left, left to right: CSULB President F. King Alexander, keynote speaker Robert S. Decker and CSU Chancellor Charles Reed.
A Sept. 23 dedication ceremony attended by campus and local officials, alumni, students and community members officially recognized CSULB’s newest building, the Hall of Science.
Considered to be the largest capital building project in the campus’ 62-year history as well as the largest and most expensive building project in the California State University (CSU) system, the $105 million Hall of Science encompasses nearly 165,000 gross square feet and completes the Natural Sciences Complex. Within the complex, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) provides CSULB’s principal curriculum for majors leading to careers in science, technology, engineering and the health professions.
“This new facility will further our commitment as a university to educating scientists and future generations of scientists. Cal State Long Beach has become a national leader in graduating scientists with more than 3,100 last year alone,” said CSULB President F. King Alexander. “We are confident that this new state-of-the-art facility will give us one of the most complete and modern science complexes in the United States and will have invaluable impact on California and this nation for decades to come.”
The new Hall of Science opened this fall and houses 31 directed studies laboratories, 29 teaching laboratories, several large lecture halls and a science learning center. Other features of the building include a marine biology lab, three rooftop greenhouses and a rooftop astronomy platform.
The new space is being used by several departments, including biological sciences, chemistry and biochemistry, physics and astronomy, science education and geology. In fact, two-thirds of all science courses at the university are being taught in the new building.
“To paraphrase a National Science Foundation study, improved spaces have a significant impact on campuses. Our new Hall of Science will enhance our efforts to attract and keep first-rate faculty and students,” said CNSM Dean Laura Kingsford. “In addition, it will enable the integration of research and education, and the cross-disciplinary collaborations that are the hallmarks of science in the 21st century.”
“I’m tremendously pleased that the CSULB College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics now provides a state-of-the-art facility that offers an environment second to none for furthering the education of the students and the professional life of the faculty,” said faculty emeritus Roger D. Bauer, who served as the first dean of the college.
CNSM Dean Laura Kingsford and Dean Emeritus Fred H. Shair.
“I joined CSULB as a faculty member after serving a number of years at CalTech,” added faculty emeritus Fred H. Shair, who served as CNSM dean from 1989-93 and attended the dedication. “My eyes were really opened when I saw the quality and dedication of the teaching at CSULB, particularly in science and engineering. It was a wonderful experience serving as the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics dean, and I’m delighted that the building is completed. The faculty and students deserve it.”
The keynote speaker at the Sept. 23 dedication was Robert Decker, founding member of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and professor emeritus of medicine and cell and molecular biology at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. Decker is also a CSULB alumnus who earned a B.S. in zoology with a minor in chemistry. Other speakers at the event included CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and CSULB Provost and Senior Vice President Donald Para.