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Beam Signing Marks Construction Milestone for Greer Environmental Sciences Center

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Pictured (from left): Chair of the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees Gary D. Bonnewell '79, VWC Vice President for Advancement Mort Gamble, Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller, President of Hourigan Construction Mark Hourigan, Billy and Fann Greer, and Chris Brandt, Executive VP of Hourigan Construction.News Release | June 21, 2016

A piece of Virginia Wesleyan College history was written June 21 as an intimate group of faculty, staff, students and friends signed their names to a beam that will support the College’s new Greer Environmental Sciences Center. The 40,000-square-foot academic building is scheduled for completion in summer 2017.

During the ceremony, Virginia Wesleyan College President Scott D. Miller recognized special guests in attendance—including the building’s namesake, former VWC President Billy Greer—and celebrated the construction milestone.

“After today’s signing, the final beam will be placed and the structural steel will be completed,” said President Miller. “We expect that the Greer Environmental Sciences Center will foster continued growth and prominence within the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, while serving as a fully integrated, interactive, and state-of-the-art model for teaching and research.”

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center will not only provide unprecedented instructional and laboratory opportunities for students, but it will also expand the College’s regional collaborations with organizations such as the Virginia Aquarium, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Center and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The building’s indoor and outdoor learning spaces will embody “science on display” and promote hands-on experiences, interactive learning and interdisciplinary research in environmental science, marine biology and more. Construction materials and plantings will demonstrate how a building can operate with efficiency and sensitivity to the natural world.

Since 2010, the College has invested more than $4.5 million in the natural sciences through facility renovations, additions of major equipment and STEM-focused scholarships. As a result, enrollment in the natural sciences has grown by 99 percent in the last five years and biology has flourished to become one of the most popular majors, representing 11.5 percent of the student population in fall 2015.

The Greer Environmental Sciences Center was designed by VMDO Architects and is being constructed by Hourigan Construction. The completed facility will complement Blocker Hall, the College’s existing natural sciences building. Learn more about the Greer Environmental Sciences Center at www.vwc.edu/GESC and watch the building come to life with the GESC webcam.