Valdosta Daily Times

June 28, 2012

VSU unveils $5.5M addition

Quinten Plummer
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University unveiled a pair of 75-seat science labs and two 30-seat classrooms Wednesday at a ribbon cutting for the university’s new $5.5 million addition to the campus’ Hugh C. Bailey Science Center.

Each of the two new labs are capable of accommodating three times the amount of students as the old labs, according to Dr. Connie C. Richards, Dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences.

“Instead of 15 lab sections of Chemistry 1154, there will be five sections taught by five faculty instead of 15,” said Dr. Richards. “The other ten faculty will be teaching courses that otherwise could not have been taught in the discipline.”

Several lab assistants would help to ensure that individual attention would remain the same, despite each lab’s large capacity, she said.

Interim VSU President, Dr. Louis H. Levy, and incoming VSU President, Dr. William McKinney, both spoke at the event and engaged in a bit of playful banter, as the university’s presidential torch was publicly exchanged between the two men ahead the July 1 transition.

“It seems like every time I’m in front of a microphone here, we’re opening a new building and eating good food,” said incoming VSU President McKinney. “There’s obviously a good thing happening here.”

Dr. Levy, who was called out of retirement and into the interim President position last July, jovially reminded the peppy audience on several occasions that he only had three days left with the school. But he also took time to discuss what the addition meant to the school and the idea of education.

“It has been my privilege and honor to serve as interim president during the construction of this addition, not only for the important purpose it serves to the university’s academic mission,” said Dr. Levy.

“But also on a personal note that the building is named for former president Hugh C. Bailey.”

Just eleven years ago, the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center was unveiled and opened for use. During that time, the university’s biology faculty increased from a staff of 21 to 30, according to Dr. Connie Richards.

She said the chemistry faculty jumped from 8 to 15 during that eleven-year stretch.

“Initially, there was concern that the addition to the Bailey Science Center might encroach too much upon West Hall,” said Dr. Richards. “But I think you will agree that the addition looks as if it has always been here, and the landscaping, including the retirement walkway, is more beautiful than it was before.”