Bucks Unveils Major Founders Hall Renovations for Spring Semester
Several portions of the 50-year-old original academic building have been completely redone for STEM students
Bucks County Community College, which has been offering innovative educational opportunities for more than 50 years, unveiled the next phase of classroom renovations in time for the 2018 spring semester.
The $11 million, multiphase renovation project includes new classrooms and labs for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Department, as well as a new suite of offices and labs for the Health Sciences Department. All are located in Founders Hall, the 73,000-square-foot building that opened in 1968 in the first construction phase of the then-new community college.
Professor Debra Geoghan (pictured), interim dean of the STEM Department, said the newly renovated spaces include two engineering and physics labs – one for mechanical and one for electrical engineering classes; a Project Room for innovations, including 3-D printing among other things; a new computer lab; and a new STEM Learning Center, where faculty will provide supplemental instruction for STEM courses.
“We are excited about our new collaborative learning spaces and the possibilities these will bring for students to work together and with faculty,” said Geoghan. “The STEM Learning Center in particular will allow students to get further support directly from our professors.”
The next phase of the project, to be completed by late August, includes moving the Health Sciences Department, including the Associate Degree Nursing program, from Grupp Hall to Founders Hall.
“We are adding a new simulation lab with four patient rooms, debrief center, and control room to depict more accurately patient scenarios for our students,” said Connie Corrigan, dean of the Health Sciences Department. “Additionally we are putting in two clinical skills rooms, a skill lab for the medical assistant area – more like a doctor’s office than a hospital – and a phlebotomy classroom/lab area.”
More than half of the project is to update the infrastructure of the 50-year-old, three-story building, including electrical, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and plumbing systems. The entire renovation consists of about 100 spaces including classrooms, labs, prep rooms, and faculty and administration offices.
Founders Hall is connected to the new Science Center, the 43,000-square-foot, two-story building that opened in January 2017. All are part of the college’s original campus, located at 275 Swamp Rd., Newtown, Pa. The college has additional locations at the Upper Bucks Campus in Perkasie, and the Gene and Marlene Epstein Campus at Lower Bucks in Bristol. Courses and degrees are also offered online.