Pearce Renovations Greet Returning MBU Students

August 29, 2019

Pearce Science Center became an active construction site this summer, as workers and MBU staff continued the building’s multi-million-dollar renovation, funded by a generous contribution from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and gifts from the Class of ’67. 

The project reenvisioned the third floor, which houses the building’s main entrances, with a contemporary feel and created common spaces that give students a place to gather, plus options for more focused studying and learning.

The new third-floor space will be named the Carpenter Commons in memory of Leona Carpenter ’35. 

“The primary goal was to enhance the learning spaces starting on the third floor, creating an active learning commons and interactive spaces for students,” said Lawrence Schnuck, vice president and senior principal of Kahler Slater Inc., the firm that conceived the new look.

The wide hallways that previously connected classrooms now provide students with open multi-use spaces, study rooms for engaged learning, seating options for in-between classes, and conversation nooks. The new space will also feature a coffee shop. 

In addition to the new spaces on the third floor, the renovation also included:

  • A new flexible classroom and meeting space on the second floor
  • Classroom 401 updates, funded through generous gifts from the Class of ’67
  • New offices added on the second and fourth floors 
  • Stairway walls enhanced with large-scale inspirational quotes by leading scientists
  • A refresh of bathrooms and the fourth-floor meeting space
  • New flooring and lighting installed in corridors 

Major construction work is on track to be completed by the start of fall classes on Sept. 2. The timeline was pushed three months ahead of the initial December completion date, with the goal of minimal disruptions to classes and student schedules. 

Minor work will continue during fall semester, including:

  • New furniture slated for arrival in September 
  • Adding new room signage
  • Completion of stairwell upgrades