Ursinus College is embarking on a new era for science education and undergraduate student research with a $29 million Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC).
The interdisciplinary facility boldly reflects the college’s liberal arts legacy, further empowering its faculty to educate future leaders in science and other professions as they prepare for the careers of the future.
“The Innovation and Discovery Center will lead the way in how a new generation of liberal arts undergraduates pursue scientific knowledge,” Ursinus College President Brock Blomberg says. “The IDC recognizes that we must teach to careers that haven’t been invented yet, which is why it will infuse policy, entrepreneurship and science with a new approach. This is an ambitious, once-in-a-generation project that will foster creative and innovative thinking, which has always been a hallmark of the Ursinus experience.”
Designed with the “science of the future” in mind, the IDC will house Ursinus’s Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good, which provides opportunities for students to become civically engaged scientific leaders, and the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies, which encourages students to exercise innovation, leadership, imagination, and creativity.
Collaborative spaces among multiple academic disciplines will further cultivate the concept of a shared, common experience, a reality of the modern world. The IDC will incorporate 30-seat and 50-seat technology-enhanced active learning classrooms; flexible laboratories that are easily configurable to suit specific needs of a research project; open meeting and work spaces that bring together students and faculty from every discipline; and a unique “maker space” that allows students to create their own tools and technology required for original research and entrepreneurial initiatives.
The 42,500-square-foot facility will be built at the academic center of the Ursinus campus off Main Street and Ninth Avenue in Collegeville and physically connect Pfahler and Thomas halls. It is scheduled to be completed during fall 2018.