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WSSU breaks ground on $53.3 million science building

WSSU breaks ground on $53.3 million science building
September 21
09:50 2017

In about two years, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will have a brand new, state-of-the-art science building that will rival others on college campuses across the state and the country.

On Friday, Sept. 15, university Board of Trustees, administrators and elected officials broke ground on the building that will be located near the F.L Atkins Health Science Building and the W.B. Atkinson Science Building. The project, which is expected to cost $53.3 million, will “anchor” WSSU’s science district, according to a press release submitted to The Chronicle.

The five-story, 103,000-square-foot building will include an atrium, interactive learning and community gathering spaces, lab space to increase faculty and student collaboration and much more, including a spot where students can grab a bite to eat.

When discussing the addition to campus Chancellor Elwood Robinson said it was a special day on the campus of WSSU. Before thanking everyone who made the project possible, Robinson said the science building will help the university chart a new course.

“It is a very special and momentous time for us. This science building will help us chart a new course for us here at Winston-Salem State University, and that’s why we’re very proud of this facility,” Robinson said.

The science building, which is expected to be complete by late 2019, is one of the first projects funded through the NC Connect Bond. The $2 billion bond, which was approved by voters last year, will provide funding for statewide investments in education, agriculture, parks and safety.

N.C. Sen. Paul Lowe Jr., who represents the 32nd District in the Winston-Salem area, said he and his colleagues had several arguments to ensure the funds for the science building stayed on the budget. N.C. Rep. Evelyn Terry said while standing in the shadows of great scientists that once served at WSSU with little resources, future students will have the opportunity to meet new challenges in the world of science.

“They will learn and explore world-changing breakthroughs,” she continued. “The state’s investment in education on all levels is a very wise spending.”

Mayor Allen Joines and City Council Member Derwin Montgomery, who is one of the owners of The Chronicle, also spoke during the groundbreaking ceremony last week. Joines said the new facility will help to contribute to the growth of the economy in and around the city.

“We’re betting on science and technology as a key part of the growth of our economy. We see an opportunity to create jobs,” continued Joines. “We’re trying to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem here in our community and having graduates that will come out of Winston-Salem State University will help us fuel that.”

Montgomery, who represents the East Ward, is a 2010 graduate of WSSU. He said for the past 125 years, the core mission of his alma mater has remained the same and the addition of the science building will continue that legacy.

“At a time when innovation was found in tobacco warehouses and manufacturing buildings in downtown Winston-Salem, there was Winston-Salem State University educating students preparing them for their future, and I think that has not left the heart of this institution in 125 years.”

He said, “Today we break ground on a building that will continue the legacy of educating individuals for another 125 years.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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