When walking on the bottom floor of Webster Hall, students are found studying at desks lined down the hallway. Space is tight for the Science department. With limited classroom space, students and staff members are forced to be creative in accommodating students. The collaboration with CannonDesign (Cannon) was kicked off on Sept, 28th to design the new Interdisciplinary Science Building (IDS).
CannonDesign is an international design and architecture firm. They have worked on designs for local universities such as Washington University, St. Louis University and University of Missouri- St. Louis. They have also worked on designs for St. Louis Public Library and St. Anthony’s Medical Center.
Faculty and staff are excited to begin discussion with Cannon. President Beth Stroble hopes the proposal will proceed as planned and cooperation with Webster Groves City Council does not limit the building opportunity. Stroble said she does not know how educational rezoning will affect the IDS plans, if passed.
“[Students] have their concerns and we have our concerns, we are just hoping for the best,” Stroble said.
While introducing Webster University to Cannon during the IDS kickoff in the East Academic Building (EAB), Provost Julian Schuster talked about the importance of the building. Schuster said that of all the renovations that have been done within the past five year, including future plans, the science building will be the most important.
“This facility is needed,” Schuster said during his speech at the kickoff event. “The building is all about the students.”
Biological Science department chair, Dr. Stephanie C. Schroeder, said the department has done a good job accommodating the 30 percent increase of science students compared to last year’s freshman class. She hopes to see enrollment continue to increase in the science department. Schroeder thinks a new science building will increase learning opportunities, especially for science majors, who have to conduct independent research before graduating.
“It will make it easier for students to do their own research and independent studies,” Schroeder said.
Cannon representative Richard Bacino said the discussion with students and faculty would begin Sept. 29. Cannon plans to make the space convenient for students and faculty. The IDS is planning to location across the EAB. The design and building requests will be proposed to the Webster Groves city council early next year.
Cannon’s designing approach will include students mapping out their daily routines around campus, to find easy entrance points and convenient classroom spaces.