After nearly a year and a half of construction, the new STEM@Drake buildings are nearly completed, and some students expressed excitement to have started classes in them this week.
“It’s going to be all nice and clean and brand new,” sophomore computer science and music major Skip Davis said. “It’s made for computer science and math.”
The two new buildings, the first new academic buildings on Drake’s campus since 1993, are part of Drake’s commitment to further learning in science, technology, education and math.
Collier-Scripps Hall is the new home of the education, math and computer science departments, as well as the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center. The Science Connector Building provides space for the seven new academic programs Drake introduced last year.
Davis said the new buildings were a factor in coming to Drake and thinks they will make his Drake experience better.
The transition to the new buildings has been smooth for the education department according to Jennifer Walter, a senior music education major and a student assistant to the dean of the School of Education.
Walter has been helping pack the old education building and move into Collier-Scripps Hall since the end of July.
“The construction crew that has been working in there has been super nice and really accommodating,” Walter said. “They’re being really considerate to all the people working.”
The new buildings provide lots of new collaborative study spaces for students, something many education majors are excited for.
“There are student spaces where you can meet up and work together on projects, and they have light panels that change colors, and so it creates this ambient lighting, and it’s really nice,” Walter said. “It has lots of couches and desks and things where you can all sit around and work in a circle.”
Senior elementary education major Tali Eisenstadt said education is a collaborative department, but the new spaces will allow the department to become even more collaborative.
Eisenstadt said the classrooms will also be an improvement.
“The desks weren’t really always arranged in a really easy way, so that’s another good perk about having the new building is that the classrooms can actually be designed in a better way that’s more beneficial for actually teaching,” Eisenstadt said.
Eisenstadt said she will miss the old education building but having a new building on campus is really special.
“It’s always fun to have a modern building, new tools, new technology, just new spaces,” Eisenstadt said.
Collier-Scripps Hall will also bring the School of Education closer to the rest of campus, which students say will be helpful going forward.
“I feel like before, since we were so far off campus, it was almost unreachable to kind of bridge the gap between the education part of your degree and whatever the core part of your degree is,” Walter said. “I think having it closer even in proximity will make it easier for that bridge to occur and just maybe make more connections with professors across campus.”
Eisenstadt said she thinks it will help the education community feel more intertwined with the rest of campus.
Collier-Scripps Hall and the Science Connector Building will be dedicated on October 7 at 11 a.m.