Jeffords Center Undergoes Major Renovations

New classrooms and state-of-the-art work stations are just some of the renovations made to upgrade teaching and learning spaces in Castleton University’s Jeffords Center.

The renovations focused on three lab areas – chemistry, physics, and exercise and sports science – to accommodate the growth of science-related programming and modernize Castleton’s science facilities.

“The renovation of our biology, chemistry, physics, and exercise and sports science labs will allow students to engage in even more hands-on learning than before,” said Associate Professor, Environmental Science Program Coordinator, and Natural Sciences Department Chair Dr. Andrew Vermilyea.

The new physics lab has double in size after removing a wall that separated two labs, and boasts a new ceiling, flooring, and a new classroom configuration. The exercise and sports science lab includes new cabinetry, flooring, tables and chairs, and projector, as well as retractable power sources mounted to the ceiling.

The chemistry lab, located on the opposite side of Jeffords Center, includes new flooring, desks, and equipment. The renovations also included gas re-piping, electrical work, and a new hood. This area also includes a new chemistry prep room and chemical storage area.

The renovations also included turning a former storage closet into a prep room for the biology labs.

“The renovations show a commitment from the Natural Sciences Department and Castleton University to the importance of conducting real, experience-based lab experiments and research as part of our courses and curriculum, in a time when there is a large push in higher education to save money by transforming these critical aspects of science education to online modules that do not represent what students will be faced with after graduation. We continue to prepare our students for successful careers in science,” Vermilyea said.

The project, which was funded from a $500,000 STEM grant from the state of Vermont and an additional $500,000 match from the University, was three years in the making. JMZ Architects and Planners and DEW Construction began renovations in late spring and were completed just before students returned in late August.