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The sciences have a new home at Framingham State University: a gleaming brick, steel and glass structure connected to the Hemenway Annex. Called Hemenway Laboratories, the four-story structure adds 16 sparkling new labs for biology, chemistry and food science, complete with the latest equipment and safety features.

The new labs, which opened with the start of classes in September, “will give students a more realistic experience of science,” says Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Margaret Carroll. “They will get hands-on opportunities with techniques and equipment, which will better prepare them for the workplace.” The additional space, she notes, “will allow us to run all the classes we need, plus give upper-division students room to run labs that take multiple days.” In the past, shared laboratories made such experiments impractical.

The new labs are a boon for FSU’s burgeoning STEM programs, which have grown by 58 percent from 2010 to 2014. “Increasing STEM majors was part of the University’s strategic plan to meet statewide workforce needs,” says Carroll. The Hemenway Laboratories also pave the way for the University to launch a new professional master’s degree in Biotechnology — this, in response to demand from MetroWest business leaders.

“This facility is going to transform our science and math programs and provide our students and faculty with access to the type of laboratories required for exciting scientific inquiry and research,” says FSU President Javier Cevallos.

The move of laboratory sciences to Hemenway Laboratories will also allow for renovation of existing laboratories in Hemenway Hall and Hemenway Annex, which is expected to be completed in 2016. Some labs will become general-purpose classrooms; other will be transformed into specialty labs, such as a simulation lab for nursing and geographic information systems. Importantly, through this second-stage renovation, all Science faculty members will gain dedicated lab space for their own research.

Senior Bailey McLernon, a Chemistry major, predicts that the new building will draw new STEM students. “This new lab building shows that Framingham State is putting more of an emphasis on science — and that will attract more majors,” she says. “When prospective science students are looking at schools, this new lab building will definitely set Framingham State apart."

ABOUT FRAMINGHAM STATE UNIVERSITY

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.

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