From the Archives

I. PKAL Volume III: Structures for Science


II. Change Agents Roundtable: Facilities of the Future


III. Questions

  • The COV found rich synergism among curricular innovation and faculty and student morale, externally funded grant support for programs and equipment and new facilities. The impact of new and renovated facilities has been significant. The students learning in these spaces will make an important societal contribution in years to come with the skills and capacities they are developing.
  • This seminar, in conjunction with VentureWell (then NCIIA) and co-sponsored by Herman Miller, was part of a series of LSC (then PKAL LSC) activities focusing on the relationship of space and learning. These questions and insights are incorporated into LSC activities relating to planning facilities for undergraduate learners. 
  • After more than a decade of significant activity in imagining, planning, constructing, and using new spaces for natural science communities on our nation’s campuses, it seemed prudent to step back, to ask if old questions are still relevant and what new questions are emerging. It seemed equally important to begin to gather thoughts of architects and other reflective practitioners from the design professional world about questions for the future.

IV. Resources from past workshops


V. W.M. Keck/PKAL Consultation Program (1994 - 2006)

  • Lessons learned from the twelve-year Keck/PKAL Consultation Program (1994 - 2006)
  • A university in the northeast recognized that new spaces for science were many years away and looked for advice on how to survive in the short-term in less-than-adequate facilities.
  • A small Catholic college with big ambitions and a modest endowment hopes to design a science building that reflects its dreams of a nationally renowned undergraduate science program.
  • The president of a small college known for fine arts, teacher education, and health fields wants to establish a reputation in math and science as well and make the college the seat of a planned national math and science teaching center of excellence. The current science building is grossly inadequate and there is no emphasis on faculty or student research. A preliminary plan for renovation of the science building was completed a few years ago, but the college was unable to move forward.
  • This report from a Keck/PKAL consultant team contains advice on how to "restart" a stalled facilities planning process, including recommendations for faculty, the advancement office, the president, division heads, and alumni.
  • The president of this small, private, mid-Atlantic college requested the consulting team come to campus to help a standing committee determine whether the current science building could be renovated or if a new facility is needed. The team determined a phased project-one in which additions to the existing structure are completed as funding is made available-suited the needs of the college. They also made design recommendations for the future facility.
  • On this campus, the Keck/PKAL consultants recognized that the community had moved too quickly to consider new facilities. They recommended a significant ‘step-back’ from thinking about spaces and suggested that a first step in the process of successful facilities planning was to have a broad consensus on goals.
  • A thoughtful and well-articulated vision for teaching science is the most important element of a successful building project.
  • This letter from the Keck/PKAL consultants advises a president of a college or university on planning new spaces for science.
  • The consulting team was invited by the chair of natural sciences to review the need for new science facilities at this community college in the southwest. The college has a history of providing training in technical areas. However, the transfer of students to baccalaureate campuses will become a prominent part of their mission as more students attend community colleges for their first two years of study.
  • There are many ways to improve an undergraduate science program. Upgrading scientific equipment, changing pedagogy, engaging in faculty development, providing summer research opportunities and renovating or enlarging facilities can all play an important role in program development.
  • This private university in the south is ready to begin the planning process for renovating and constructing an addition to the existing bioscience facility. Several planning stages must be passed through before construction can begin, but the consultant team agreed the university is ready to begin the process.
  • A well-respected two-year college in a Midwest state system known for turning “slackers” into students with clear ambitions and goals seeks to renovate its science facilities to support changes in pedagogy and curriculum. The faculty in the natural sciences are enthusiastic, caring, dedicated professionals who want the best possible education for their students. They have spent considerable time developing and applying new pedagogical approaches and are highly invested in the opportunity to renovate the science facilities. Funds for renovation have been committed by the county and state, but the county has also imposed a tight timetable with construction scheduled to begin soon.
  • This small, midwestern liberal arts college wishes to renovate their current science facility, but they need assistance in planning for new spaces. The college wishes to renovate the science hall that houses the biology, chemistry, math, computer science and physics departments.
  • This private, liberal arts college located in the northeast revised their science curriculum with success. Now, they wish to construct state-of-the-art facilities to complement their curricular revisions. They realized the construction process begins with coordinated planning efforts and faculty collaboration.
  • A small mid-states college is anxious to restart the building planning process after turnover in the upper echelons of the administration. The new president has named a facilities planning committee that is just beginning to determine how it will do its work. There seems to be significant change in administrative approach, and faculty and staff are still adapting to this shift. Past efforts have been less collaborative than ideal, but this project seems well on its way towards collaboration.
  • One southern campus had been engaged in a ‘fits and starts’ approach to thinking about new spaces, and needed help in thinking about ways to maintain the current momentum.
  • This small college on the west coast wishes to construct a new science facility. The consultants concluded that the college should develop comprehensive plans, establish working relationships within the campus and between the campus and the surrounding community, design the facility to accommodate trends in science education and adequately prepare to finance this large-scale project.