Sep 17, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterThe Ranger's special edition on the new facility is published Wednesday.
Students and faculty returning to Central Wyoming College this year have a lot more room to work with now that the new Health and Science Center is up on the Riverton campus.
"We're not used to having this much space," geology professor Suki Smaglik said. "The density of people isn't as much as it used to be."
In their old location across campus, Smaglik said the halls always were cramped in between classes. Now, she said, "I can go through this hallway without getting hit."
Of course, science professors are most excited about their new laboratories, which also are larger than the previous work spaces at CWC. Smaglik said she used to have her students "clustered together" around one table, but now smaller groups have room to work separately.
"There's a lot more space for me to help the students out," she said.
Instructors don't have to share their classrooms as much, either. Biology professor Steve McAllister said the Health and Science Center has separate labs for biology, anatomy and physiology, and for the first time CWC's environment, health and safety program has its own dedicated laboratory space.
"That's really important," McAllister said. "It makes it logistically easier to offer more sections."
The new rooms are equipped with up-to-date safety features like showers and eye wash stations, he said. They also include work benches that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"Those are two major features that, for student safety and for student access, are very important," he said.
Previously, CWC's labs had not been upgraded for decades, McAllister said.
"I found this yearbook from 1967 or something, and if you look in that yearbook the labs looked exactly the same," he said.
"Even the incubators were the same. Nothing had changed in all that time.
"It was about time, we really needed to update that space."
McAllister pointed out that the center also comes with plenty of study areas for students.
There is seating on the second floor in the main foyer where students can work comfortably while looking at the Wind River Mountains through the facility's floor-to-ceiling windows.
Smaglik said she has enjoyed the view every day.
"I think we're all in agreement it's awesome to have windows," she said. "All day I look at the mountains and the trees."
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