The Gottwald Sscience Ccenter is one of the most prominent buildings on the Westhampton College side of campus because of its size and style. The building’s unusualodd shape and unusual form of the combined with the fact that it only vaguely follows the gothic architecture trendthat defines of the rest of the campus makes the buildingit a stand out. Despite the building’s oddities, it is a perfect breeding ground for innovative collaboration between different science fields in both lab and classroom spaces.
The Gottwald Sscience
is one of the most prominent buildings on the Westhampton College side of
campus because of its size and style. The building’s unusualodd
shape and unusual form of the combined
with the fact that it only vaguely follows the gothic architecture trendthat defines of the rest of the campus makes the
buildingit a stand out.
Despite the building’s oddities, it is a perfect breeding
ground for innovative collaboration between different science fields in both
lab and classroom spaces.
sciences were not always held in Gottwald, but instead a two- story
wood-framed building called Heavenward, that positionedfell
between the lake and the power plant called Heavenward. This building was later
destroyed in a terrible fire in on
October 21, 1925 that. The fire began around 11:30 pm
and completely consumed the building in flames by 1:30 am. The fire spread
quickly and set off small explosions when storerooms of chemicals caught
fire. In all, around $50,000 worth of
property was lost[i], including:
expensive equipment, manuscripts, and chemical formula[ii]. Because the science building was so close to
the power house, that facility the power house was
put in serious danger. In the end, the
flames were contained before they could spread beyond the Heavenward, but the
building was in complete disarray and nothing could be salvaged from
the building. The science classes were moved to the Pplayhouse,
was one of the original structures of the amusement park that
occupied the land before the university took over in 1910. Later, in April 1927, Puryear Hall opened as the chemistry
building; in October 1930, Richmond Hall opened as the physics building; and in
April 1933, Maryland Hall opened as the biology building.
broken for the new science center, what is now
known as The Gottwald Science Center,
in march of 1976, after funds were raised in a campaign called “Our Time in
planning committee visited 39 undergraduate science facilities to see what other
universities’ science buildings were like. The design of the building was based on the
science center at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Gottwald is a three-storyied
building that houses three natural sciences, chemistry, biology, and physics.
Each science has its own section that spreads
vertically to all three floors, and all of the departments surround one
combined library. for all three natural
sciences. This design
allows for the interdisciplinary nature of science because of the proximity of
the departments horizontally. The building also has a unique structure,
with no load bearing walls on the interior.
This feature allows for quick and easy expansions and development to the
building, with the change and advancement in technology and the field of
science. When it first opened
opened, the building housed 26 student-faculty research
laboratories, 27 teaching labs, five classrooms, an auditorium, faculty
offices, “computational areas,”
a shop complex, a radionuclide complex, an electron microscope suite, a
animal facilities, and the science library.
building was dedicated over two days in March of 1978, with the overarching
theme of “tThe
importance of undergraduate science education.”. The building was not named The Gottwald
Science center until a year later, after a 4-million-dollar gift was donated to
the school in honor of Floyd D. Gottwald, who served as a board member. The
donation covered half the cost of the project and was then the
second largest gift tThe
University had ever received.
remained the same until 2002 when 35 million dollar in
renovations were approved. From Tthe
first plans, brought they foresaw
about 28,000 newextra
square feet to the facility[iii]. The plan incorporated the
newest technologies and included adding new lab spaces, and as
well as adding more flexibility for the building to be upgraded as
new technologies arose. Cosmetically, the plan included a new entry to the
building to so it could more
closely fit the gothic style of the rest of campus. The building created
space for Even though the science center mainly held biology,
chemistry and physics in the past, the science department added five
innovative interdisciplinary science discovery centers, including centers for
material science, nuclear and particle physics, neuroscience, biological
chemistry, and environmental science.
center was completed and dedicated in 2005 and 2006 respectively[iv]. The
renovation and expansion totaled 37 million dollars. The
project did comehis was not without some
Despite the building being semi-complete in the fall of 2004, noise cluttered hallways,
and water damage caused many science classes to be held in other
buildings. The chemistry department felt
the largest impact of this. Because the department was not complete, it
had to be absorbed into other science areas or completely different buildings. This limited the chemistry curriculum that
addition of tThe
Gottwald Science Building played a major role in the evolution and development
of the science program at university of Richmond. In 2015, the lab facilities
were ranked number three in the nation[vi].
Because of Richmond’s superior science facilities, it competes with many
leading research universitiescolleges.
With the growth in interest in the science programs, the University of Richmond
will likely keep evolving its science program with the times, bringing changes
and upgrades to the current Gottwald building.