Construction of the new Life Sciences building begins, and the geologists welcome our new biologist labmates

May 24th, 2016

Mateer May 2016Wooster, Ohio — The College of Wooster community will soon say goodbye to Mateer Hall (above), which has housed the Biology Department for decades. It will be demolished next month to make way for the new Ruth Williams Hall of Life Science. I haven’t heard anyone yet say they will miss the creaky and undersized Mateer. The new Life Sciences building, which will be joined to the existing Severance Hall (chemistry), will be beautiful, spacious, and filled with the finest of scientific equipment and facilities.

Scovel 216 052416In the meantime the biologists (sensu lato, including neurobiologists, biochemists and so on) have to go somewhere with all their stuff for two years. Scovel Hall will be home for some of the biology labs, so the geologists have been making room throughout the building. I thought I’d record the process at its most chaotic in Scovel 216 (above) and Scovel 219 (below). The biologists have to move everything out of Mateer in just a few days, so our lab tables and just about every other flat surface in Scovel is occupied by specimens, equipment, and massive bottles of distilled water. I especially like the stuffed animals (including a small bear), the crocodile skulls, and the human skeleton in an ancient tall display cabinet.

Scovel 219 052416We are looking forward to spending quality time with our biologist friends. We’re each going to learn a great deal about how the other group works, and we’ll have new appreciation for our disciplines. Science marches forward!

2 Responses to “Construction of the new Life Sciences building begins, and the geologists welcome our new biologist labmates”

  1. Bill Reinthalon 25 May 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Wasn’t Mateer only about 40 years old, Mark?? Admittedly its architecture looks like it was inspired by 1960s Soviet design, but… I find this sort of demolition/rebuilding to be one of the hallmarks of education’s (at all levels) failures. Surely there was a better solution, and a better way to spend that money.

    Everyone likes pretty, shiny, new buildings, but the downstream cost is often dramatically understated, leading to spiraling costs, something that small schools like the COW can ill-afford.

  2. Mark Wilsonon 25 May 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Bill: Here’s a Voice article that gives some of the reasons for the new Life Sciences complex — http://thewoostervoice.spaces.wooster.edu/2012/04/20/mateer-hall-in-need-of-renovation/ . The science, especially Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, needs far better facilities, and the teaching spaces have long been inadequate.

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