Million-volt, 3-foot sparks will reflect the excitement
BELLEVUE, WASH. – Three-foot sparks of up to 1 million volts each will reflect the excitement as Bellevue Community College opens its new science classroom and laboratory building in a public open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 11.
Officially designated the “S Building, the three-story, 64,000 square-foot facility will house BCC’s Life Sciences and Chemistry programs, and provide space for classes in chemistry, biology, microbiology, oceanography and marine biology.
Electrostatic sparks from a seven-foot Van de Graaf generator will be just part of the open-house fun. The agenda also includes hands-on marine biology demonstrations, student project displays, a special guest appearance by “Madame Curie” and tours of the facility’s five high-tech classrooms; its 16 advanced laboratories, including DNA-sequencer and scanning-electron-microscope labs; the Science Study Center; and the building’s numerous “green” features.
The S Building, now the eleventh instructional facility on the college’s main campus, it expected to qualify for Silver Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The silver rating recognizes the structure’s “green” aspects:
- Its exterior design minimizes the “Heat Island Effect” – a phenomenon in which a building reflects heat from the sun back into the atmosphere, affecting local climates.
- Its energy-efficient exterior lighting minimizes light pollution — the escape of light in unwanted directions.
- Its design and landscaping promote water conservation by making use of the permeable land surface to allow water to drain naturally to the Kelsey Creek watershed.
- It was constructed with environmentally friendly materials, such as wood from bamboo and other sustainable crops, and paint with low toxic emissions — which in combination with building’s maximum-volume air circulation ensures a healthy indoor environment.
- It saves energy by using natural light to minimize the need for electric lighting.
- It provides convenient bicycle parking, to encourage emission-free commutes.
The S Building is located on Landerholm Circle, near the center of the college’s 96-acre campus (3000 Landerholm Circle S.E., Bellevue, at the intersection of S.E. 28th St. and 148th Ave. S.E.).
Built at a cost of $34 million, the facility was designed by The Miller Hull Partnership. M.A. Mortenson Company was the general contractor.
ABOUT BCC’S SCIENCE PROGRAMS
BCC’s Science Division, with 36 full-time and 62 part-time faculty, offers programs of study leading to transferable associate degrees in Life Sciences (Biology, Botany, Environmental Science, Nutrition and Oceanography); Physical Sciences (Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, Physics and Basic Science); Engineering (Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemical and Bio-Engineering); and Mathematics.
The division teaches 730 individual class sections in these fields each year, drawing more than 20,000 total enrollments.
The Science Division also is home to BCC’s Science & Math Institute, or “SAMI, which undertakes various projects to interest more students in science and mathematics, including “Science to Go” activities that bring hands-on science to local middle- and elementary-school classrooms.
Highly unusual for a two-year college, BCC’s Science Division engages students in an ongoing, original research project using a DNA sequencer to analyze the genetic makeup of a uniquely assigned bacterium – one that is not yet being studied anywhere else, but which holds the potential to protect wheat and barley from root disease.