(Image caption: Renovations to the science labs include new casework, utilities, safety equipment, flooring, paint, lighting, updated water deionization and purification systems in both rooms. Room 122 will also be outfitted with an updated vacuum system for lab and research purposes and both labs will get new information technology/audio visual systems.)
Allentown, Pa. (Aug. 20, 2015) Two key learning spaces at Cedar Crest College that enjoy significant traffic from students are getting a total of $650,000 in improvements this month in preparation for the new school year.
Two freshmen science labs in the Dorothy Rider Pool Science Center will receive $500,000 in upgrades that should be completed by Aug. 14, said Matt Yencha, Director of Facilities for the college. In addition, six preparation kitchen spaces and a demonstration kitchen in the Allen Center for Nutrition at the Miller Family Center will see $150,000 in improvements by the end of the month, Yencha said.
“The two science labs, Rooms 118 and 122, are part of our freshman experience. Pretty much all of our students will go through these labs at some point during their career here,” Yencha said.
Upgrades to the two labs include new casework, utilities, safety equipment, flooring, paint, lighting, updated water deionization and purification systems in both rooms and Room 122 will also be outfitted with an updated vacuum system for lab and research purposes and both labs will get new information technology/audio visual systems. The corridor between the rooms is also being improved, Yencha said.
The renovations were made possible due to a bequest by Verna Orcurto Canova ’38, a lifelong Allentown resident, philanthropist and community volunteer, who left $3.5 million to Cedar Crest College to fund many of the things she loved best about the liberal arts institution from which she graduated in 1938.
The bequest provides for general support of the college, with an emphasis on the sciences and community outreach, as well as programming at the Rodale Aquatic Center. Earlier improvements made possible through the bequest include the renovation of the Tomkins Dining Hall and common area named for the late alumna.
Meanwhile, renovations are also underway in the nutrition lab kitchens through a $150,000 grant from the Allen Foundation matched by a $50,000 contribution from the college. Six kitchens are set to receive new walls and base cabinets; high-end, dual-fuel cooking ranges that feature gas cooktops and electric ovens and all new appliances.
A demonstration kitchen in the center used for instruction programs will be equipped with digital recording and playback system featuring a 55-60-inch high-definition television for recording and replaying classes for student and community programs, Yencha said.
Martine Scannavino, D.H.Sc., Chair and Associate Professor for the Allen Center for Nutrition, said the inspiration for the upgrades came from her work as a chef in NYC working in restaurants, the educational realm and volunteering as a chef educator with a program called head start, providing culinary education to inmates on Rikers Island, as well as her community work as a dietitian and dietetics educator.
“The renovation is extremely exciting,” Scannavino said. “Not only will it make our food and nutrition lab a beautiful, functional and effective space to teach and learn in, each component supports the mission of the Allen Center for Nutrition at Cedar Crest College and the grant awarded by the Allen Foundation, providing educational programming to foster healthier diets and improved nutrition for the community.
“This will enable us to expand our course offerings at cedar crest in our Didactic Program in Dietetics, Nutrition Minor, as well as offerings to all students and the community at large,” she added.
Skepton Construction Inc. of Pennsburg is the construction manager for the science labs project. William Elek Services Inc. of Allentown is the construction manager for the kitchens renovations.
Located in Allentown, Pa., Cedar Crest College was selected as a “Top Regional College” and “Best Value” in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges rankings for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The liberal arts college is committed to the education of women leaders in an increasingly global society. Founded in 1867, Cedar Crest currently enrolls approximately 1,500 students—full-time, part-time and graduate—in more than 30 fields of study.