What is this noise? Nucleus construction in progress at Scripps, Pitzer

Expansion of the Keck Science Center increases capacity for students and faculty. (Florence Pun • Student Life)

After a revolutionary ceremony in May 2022, construction is well underway on the Nucleus, a collaborative effort between Scripps College and Pitzer College to expand the WM Keck Science Center which currently houses both colleges’ STEM departments.

Located on E. 9th Street at the intersection of Scripps, Pitzer and Claremont McKenna College, the Addition of 70,000 square feet at the Keck Building will contain 14 new labs, collaborative spaces and a greenhouse, UJ Sofia, Dean of Science for the WM Keck Science Department, told TSL via email.

Scheduled to be completed by 2024, the multimillion-dollar project will move Keck Science classes currently held in trailers at CMC and Pitzer into permanent classrooms, according to Sofia.

The Nucleus building will be connected to the current Keck Science Center by a bridge”serve as a symbol of the connection between past and future scientific discoveries,” according to a June 13 statement. Scripps press release.

The Keck Science Center will remain largely the same, although the renovations will allow the department to hire more permanent faculty, according to Sofia.

“With the updated facilities and the move to the two-college program, our faculty will have more time and space to innovate,” Sofia said. “Obvious areas of evolution include enhanced cross-disciplinary offerings and experiential learning opportunities.”

Students and faculty have high hopes for the opportunities the expansion will provide.

Janet Sheung, an assistant professor of physics at Keck Science, said she was personally able to design space for an upper-division physics lab that was not previously offered due to lack of proper facilities.

“I can’t imagine trying to fit $100,000 worth of equipment into a temporary modular unit,” Sheung said.

Celine Aoki SC ’26, who is enrolled in a Keck chemistry course taught in a portable unit, expressed her excitement about the new permanent facility.

“I think it will allow for new research opportunities and expand what students are exposed to,” Aoki said.

With CMC set to go out Keck in 2024, Aoki expressed concern over the loss of CMC students and college assets.

“I think the Nucleus not involving CMC students, it will limit exposure to the views of those students,” she said. “I feel like it’s better to combine resources like the ones we have with Keck because it allows for more student interaction and more brains on a single topic, which is always really helpful. “

When CMC announcement his plan to retire from Keck in 2018, some professors told TSL that the reason for the withdrawal could be because CMC wants to fund science at a level that Scripps and Pitzer cannot afford.

In fiscal 2020-21, CMC’s endowment topped $1.2 billion, while Scripps’ and Pitzer’s endowments were around $540 million and $179 million, respectively, according to a TSL. . analysis college grants.

Eactivated by George Roberts’ $140 million CM 66 giftCMC inaugurated its own science center on September 30.

For Sheung, leaving CMC could allow Keck to move forward in new ways.

“It’s hard to think of the departure of CMC and the Nucleus as separate issues,” Sheung said. “Previous attempts to construct a new building [weren’t successful] …because the three colleges couldn’t agree on who contributes and how much.

The absence of CMCs in Keck Science could also mean smaller classes, as Sheung said introductory classes have become quite large.

“The aspiration [Keck has] because what the department could be for the consortium is to be a place where interdisciplinary science can be practiced,” she said.

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