By Meagan Lennon

Many LaGrange College students, myself included, were skeptical when construction first began. I recall thinking, “Why do we need a new science building? The current one is perfectly fine.”

Little did I know that I would be so wrong.

Dr. Arthur Sikora used a chemical reaction to “cut” the ribbon at the grand opening.

With its spacious laboratories, state-of-the-art technology, and modern design, the new Ida Callaway Hudson Lab Science Building provides the best accommodations for students and professors alike. Comparatively, the memories of the old building seem like ancient history since the new building has been completed.  As Dr. William Paschal, professor of anatomy and physiology, neurobiology, and embryology, says, “We no longer have to share space. There is so much more room to maneuver and see.”

In the old building, most of the classes had to share the same lab space, but now every class has its own lab. The lab spaces in the old building were crowded, and they could hardly fit an entire class. However, in the Ida, each lab space can fit up to twenty-four students with space to spare.

We now have neat equipment that is typically found at research universities, and we don’t have to share.

Everything in the new building is state-of-the-art and perfect for the budding scientist. According to Dr. Nickie Cauthen, the science department chair and professor of genetics, biology, and molecular biology, “We now have neat equipment that is typically found at research universities, and we don’t have to share.”

Dr. William Paschal leads his lab on the first day of school.

In the chemistry labs, each lab group has a dedicated drawer for beakers, test tubes, and other equipment, and lab partners can safely conduct experiments without worrying about volatile gases under the new hoods. In the anatomy lab, each table has its own snorkel so the lab does not reek of the dissection specimen.

Professors can also use special microscopes to project specimens onto the projection screen. This addition makes it easier for students to understand what the professor is talking about during the lecture or the laboratory session.

Although the Ida is truly something to marvel, its space and its technology are not its sole captivating features. It was built with professors and students in mind. Students can use multiple study rooms and we love being able to write on the whiteboard walls that separate the classrooms from the offices. As Dr. Cauthen states, “When we were the old building, it was rare to see students outside of class times. But now? The students want to hang around.”

The whiteboard walls are directly outside of the offices, so if we are struggling with a concept, we can draw out what we understand and ask the professor any questions. I have taken advantage of the whiteboard feature many times, and it is perhaps one of my favorite things about the Ida.

When we were the old building, it was rare to see students outside of class times. But now? The students want to hang around.

Dr. Cauthen states, “We are hoping that the new building will draw in new students.”

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Meagan Lennon, ’19, is a sophomore biology major.

The building itself is more than equipped to handle incoming students because, as Dr. Cauthen claimed, “We don’t have to worry about overcrowding, and we have room to grow.”

Students of all majors can appreciate the spacious hallways and the technologically advanced lab rooms. Professors can provide students with extra help on the whiteboard walls that line the hallways.  And the extra study space is more accessible to groups. The Ida Callaway Hudson Lab Sciences Building stands as a beacon of pride on our historic and prestigious campus.