Centralia College Science Center
The most recent addition to Centralia College’s campus is the New Science Center, completed in June of 2009. This 3-story, concrete and steel building features science laboratories, classrooms, and support spaces not previously available on campus.
Due to frequent changes in teaching strategies, the building program required flexible and improvisational-type teaching spaces. Several interior and exterior spaces provide these flexible environments: classrooms offer multiple media options for varying teaching styles; the 3rd floor corner space serves as both instruction space and student study space; the outdoor observatory provides space for astronomical viewing and for special events; expanded corridors and breakout spaces throughout the building host informal learning sessions and student activities. The project’s visual and physical connections between interior and exterior create strong campus and community links, promoting innovative new learning opportunities.
The New Science Center contributes both qualitative and quantitative improvement to Centralia College. It uses 31.2% less energy and 42.7% less potable water than the applicable benchmark buildings, all while providing its occupants with a more vibrant environment in which to study, learn, and work. These and other improvements have earned the building a LEED Gold rating, and have come at a first-cost premium of just 1.3%, ensuring a short payoff period in a time of restricted state budgets. Both the architectural and the environmental success of the New Science Center is due to the collaborative effort between the faculty, the students and the design team throughout the design process.