The five-story $24-million facility, houses classrooms, lecture rooms,
instructional labs, and research labs for chemistry, biology, computer
science, engineering, geography, geology, and the SKyTeach programs.
“This was a total college effort,” Dr. Blaine Ferrell, dean of Ogden
College of Science and Engineering said, in thanking department heads
and faculty for their support of the project.
Snell Hall is one phase of a seven-part renewal of the Ogden campus,
President Gary Ransdell said. The others include two more completed
projects -- the Complex for Engineering and Biological Sciences and the
recently completed renovation of Science and Technology Hall; and four planned projects – renovation of Thompson Complex Central Wing, Hardin Planetarium and Environmental Sciences and Technology Building and a new U.S. Department of Agriculture research lab (where Thompson Complex North Wing now sits).
The transformation of the science complex and the research projects by faculty and students are “driving the economy of this region,” Dr.
Dr. Ransdell thanked state legislators – including Rep. Jody Richards,
Rep. Jim DeCesare, and Sen. Mike Reynolds who attended Monday’s ceremony – as well as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell for their support in obtaining funding for the science complex projects.
Richards, who was Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives when the projects began, said he’s been proud to work with Dr. Ransdell and WKU administrators to provide better facilities for students and faculty.
“Our students simply deserve better,” Richards said. Reynolds agreed. “A new building will attract students and good faculty, too,” he said.
Dr. Ferrell attributed the addition of 335 new majors and minors in
Ogden College last fall to the completion of Snell Hall.
The renovation of science facilities also will boost the SkyTeach
program, an effort to develop and train more science and math teachers. That program has 153 students with 80 more expected next fall.
Dr. Ferrell also thanked Taylor Whitney Architects, the building’s
designer; Abel Construction, the project contractor; and WKU Dining
Services, which operates DaVinci’s café.