Aug. 22, 2012
Baker students in awe of renovated Mulvane Hall
Baldwin City, Kan. — Sounds of “awesome, sweet, wow and amazing” emanated from the halls of the new Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education on Wednesday, the first day of classes at the renovated Mulvane Hall and the addition of the Ross and Christine Hartley Hall at Baker University.
New laboratory space, classrooms and collaborative study areas greeted the biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and information technology students upon their return to campus. The $10.3 million project, the largest fundraising campaign in Baker’s 154-year history, was supported entirely through the generosity of alumni and friends of the University. It includes the renovation to Mulvane, originally constructed in the 1920s, and the 9,000-square-foot addition of Hartley Hall.
“I recognized the staircase inside the entrance, walked up to the second floor and ‘Wow,” said Milan Piva, a senior biology major from Parsons. “It is amazing, and I barely recognize it. I wish I weren’t a senior and could spend more time here.”
At the urging of her students, Erin Morris, assistant professor of biology, gave an impromptu tour of the facility before an early-morning class on Wednesday. Several of the students wandered the halls, going room to room on all four floors, in awe of the new facility.
“The renovation and expansion look really impressive,” said Selesta Aust, a senior biology major from Olathe. “I am so pleased they were able the maintain the historic look on the outside while making the inside look more modern. It is extremely quaint and they were still able to maintain the small classes, which is so important to this university. The study spaces make so much difference.”
New technology and equipment fill the industry-standard labs at the Boyd Center.
“I am glad the University was committed to using the money raised to make sure the classrooms and labs had the necessary technology,” said Jack Caywood, a senior math major from Lawrence.
The students also noticed more natural lighting and wider hallways.
“It is definitely more modern and brighter when you walk in,” said Mario Armstrong, a senior biology major from Independence, Mo. “The rooms are more open and will make classes more interesting.”
In October, Baker broke ground on the 9,000-square-foot addition, Hartley Hall, named after Baker alumnus Ross Hartley and his wife, Christine Hartley, who contributed a $1.6 million gift to the project. Construction workers continue to put on the final touches on the lower level.
The Ivan L. Boyd Center for Collaborative Science Education is named after a longtime biology professor who served at Baker from 1941 to 1972 and continued to teach as an emeritus faculty until his death in 1982.
The public is invited to an open house to tour Mulvane Hall at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, during Baker’s homecoming weekend.
Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.