Northwestern’s new science hall.

Northwestern College in Orange City is dedicating its new science hall today.

College president Greg Christy says they had already raised more than the $24.5 million cost of the three-story, 61,000 square foot building by the time they broke ground to start construction. “People have had a real desire to see this building come about for a long, long time and their giving has certainly indicated that,” according to Christy.

The building will be home to the college’s nursing program. He says they are having their first 10-year class reunion for the nursing program this weekend and the nursing program will move from its downtown location. The biology and chemistry programs will be in the building as well. Christy says combining all those programs together is important.

“The building will just allow us to do some things that we have not been able to do — but especially a lot of laboratory space — a state of the art laboratory and research spaces,” Christy explains. “Which is why our students have done so well, one of the reasons along with our outstanding faculty in terms of our scores for students going to medical school.”

Christy says the architecture of the building features several glass walls, allowing people to view the classrooms. “We wanted this building to be science on display so as we walk perspective students down the hallway they can actually look in,” he says. “Or if we walk alumni and friends and others just visiting on campus, they can actually look in and just see science happening in the laboratory, in the classroom.”

The dedication ceremonies for the Jack and Mary De Witt Family Science Center will begin at 4:00 p.m. today. Public tours of the new will occur following the dedication ribbon-cutting ceremony.

(Story and photo by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)