Local University Updates Science Center in an Effort to Attract New Students

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HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV)-- A multimillion dollar renovation at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), will also mean more money in the local economy.

"As cool as it was to have that legacy I think at this point we were a little fettered by the fact that this building is old and that we were running out of space," said Eli Wenger, a sophomore double majoring in biology and chemistry.

Wenger catalogs historical artifacts moved out of storage due to the science center renovations. He thinks the renovations to the Suter Science Center, which include a new laboratory, better ventilation, group study areas, and natural light, will help him learn.

With phase one of renovations under way, organizers are really hoping that a more open layout and updated technology will help attract students to the science program.

"Professors are more excited and it's more state of the art and I think that'll make a difference and if the students feel like it's new," said Wenger.

More students means more local business at restaurants, and in stores, because many science graduates choose to stay in the Valley.

"We provide a lot of professionals and serve the workplace as well," said Eldon Kurtz, the director of Physical Plant at EMU.

As crews work to build two more classrooms and areas with more natural light, organizers hope it's a change that won't have students thinking the area will always be under construction.

"High school students will come, and they'll be touring and they'll see facilities that are much more antiquated than those at their own high schools that they've come from," said Kurtz.

Phase one will be finished by the spring of 2015.


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