The Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, the largest capital project in Lafayette's history, opens on the first day of classes on Aug. 26.

A building dedication is planned for Sept. 27 at 5 p.m., beginning with an open house and tours, which will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. In addition, Graciela Gonzalez Hernandez, MS, PhD, associate professor of informatics at the University of Pennsylvania will deliver a keynote lecture on September 26 at 7 p.m. at Colton Chapel as part of this important moment in College history. The Rockwell Center was a key component of the College’s Live Connected, Lead Change fundraising campaign, which concluded in December 2018. The building was made possible by a lead gift from S. Kent Rockwell ’66. The Center offers a signature space for biology and computer science departments and the environmental studies and science programs. It also houses the Bradbury Dyer, III ’64 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Daniel and Heidi ’91 Hanson Center for Inclusive STEM Education and offers additional space for neuroscience. Special thanks to the following contributors who made the Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center a reality.

The Center, which is connected to Acopian Engineering Center and adjacent to Hugel Hall of Science, encourages collaboration between students and professors among the three buildings. A café and additional indoor and outdoor study spaces are also available for student and faculty use. The facility will fundamentally change how Lafayette combines the liberal arts and sciences by providing spaces for interdisciplinary engagement and room for expansion as the College grows.

As one of the lowest-energy use academic laboratory buildings in the country, the Rockwell Center meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Status – one of the highest industry standards for sustainability. The building was designed to reduce energy consumption by 45 percent below the LEED baseline. It sets a new standard for the campus and supports the College’s commitment to serve as a regional and national leader in reducing energy consumption.

Rockwell Highlights

  • Groundbreaking ceremony — May 11, 2017  
  • Builder — Turner Construction Co.
  • Architect – Payette, MEP Engineer – BR+A
  • Structural engineering — The Harman Group 
  • Total space — 103,000 square feet
  • Biology research labs — (13), 450 square feet each
  • Biology teaching labs — (8) 1,100 square feet each
  • Greenhouses — (2), 400 square-feet divided into two 200-square-foot spaces
  • Computer Science teaching labs — (3), 900 square feet each
  • Computer Science research lab — 900-square feet
  • Faculty offices — (35), 140 square feet each
  • Classrooms for 40 (3), 1,080 square feet each
  • Classroom for 24, 720-square feet 

Sustainability

A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold facility, Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center was designed to reduce energy consumption by 45 percent below the LEED baseline.

With modular rooms and movable walls and furniture, Rockwell will not become obsolete or require an expensive renovation as soon as new technologies or learning configurations emerge. Even the building’s concrete floors, exposed ceilings, and writing surfaces covering the walls exemplify its practicality. 

Students will get an up-close look at the inner workings of a state-of-the-art green building as they place temperature and humidity sensors around the center, monitor water and energy cycles, and model airflow and energy efficiency.

The Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center positions Lafayette College as a leader in supporting education and research in the STEM fields. The center, harnessing Lafayette’s distinctive integration of liberal arts and engineering, is connected to Acopian Engineering Center, creating a science hub to serve nearly half of the student population currently majoring in the sciences.

Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center enables the College to better prepare students to tackle society’s toughest problems through:

  • The use of new technology and teaching paradigms as they emerge
  • Flexible space, which can transition with future technology
  • A living laboratory of sustainability as the Lafayette’s first LEED Gold facility
For media inquiries, contact Bryan Hay at haybr@lafayette.edu

See the construction of the Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center