Henry Ford Community College this month celebrated the opening of its new science center
The center adds 19,000 square feet of space, two new lecture halls, four new, high-tech labs and a hallway emblazoned with a DNA strand. It will be home to an expanded science program, which includes 12 science courses and 30 course sections. But more than that, said HFCC President Gail Mee at the grand opening, the center marks the dedication of several factions that worked together to take the new center from a concept to a reality.
“Today science plays a large role in economics,” said Mee. “Students who graduate take classes at this center will be part of a change in Michigan’s economy; there are openings in nursing and health, and sciences that are not being filled. Students will be able to fill those positions; HFCC is proud to be part of that."
The center, which has been under construction for more than a year, was funded through grant dollars and private donors. Mayor Jack O’Reilly said he believes the new center will capitalize on some of Dearborn’s symbiotic features that other communities don’t have.
“Sometimes I don’t think we recognize the uniqueness of the features of our community,” he said. “There is a unique relationship between the K-12 school district and the college—and there are employers that have told me there are jobs—in science and in technology—that are not filled.”
Ground was broken on the science center in April 2011. At the new center, students can enroll in HFCC’s biotechnology program, which supports Michigan’s molecular biology-based industries. Other science programs include environmental science and zoology.
Additionally, the new center will support the school’s many health-related programs.
The original science center was constructed in 1963, and was one of the first buildings built at the college. But the facility was in need of updating that matched what is required in a modern technological learning setting.
The new building is also sustainable; it was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, specifications. LEED represents the national benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of green facilities.