About The Facility
This ultra-modern $25 million, 130,000-sq. ft. science center, situated between Evans Hall and Hermann Hall in the heart of the main campus, opened for classes in January 2001. The departments of biology, chemistry, mathematical sciences, and physics, astronomy, and geology are located within. The facility has a number of state-of-the-art general and specialized laboratories for aquatics, tissue culture, microscopy/image analysis, and for specialized instrumentation. It is equipped with two controlled-temperature environmental chambers, three greenhouses, a robotics lab, and a darkroom.
Thirty faculty/student team research laboratories provide the facilities needed for sophisticated research and contribute to the work-study and directed-study programs. In addition, the building contains a 200-seat, multimedia auditorium; 19 lecture classrooms that are adaptable to different modes of teaching, including four electronic classrooms; 18 classroom laboratories, 7 library/reading rooms, and laboratories suitable to studies by groups of students in cooperative efforts. Two outdoor amphitheaters are suitable for lectures, informal meetings, or casual gatherings. Throughout, the building was constructed with emphases on safety, technology, and efficiency.
In the atrium, suspended from the ceiling a height of 60 feet, is a Foucault pendulum, given in memory of Henry C. Berry, Martha Berry's nephew, by his wife and daughter. This breathtaking and formidable structure is one of approximately sixty in existence and the only pendulum of its kind in the southeast. Named after its inventor, Jean Bernard Foucault, the pendulum is designed to demonstrate the rotation of the earth. While some are designed to use pegs to track the motion, our pendulum traces its path in sand. While it may seem that the 250-lb. brass ball is moving, it is actually the earth moving beneath the ball that creates this effect.
Students and faculty have only begun to realize the potential the facility holds for collaborative research and individual explorations in the sciences. The scientific process involves both exploration and explanation, and that includes communication. This building is very much about explanation--it is not just laboratories and classrooms, but it is "a place where students and faculty can discuss their work, plan and dream." These thoughts, spoken by Dean Bruce Conn in an interview, give insight into the prevailing philosophy shared by the faculty in the sciences. At Berry, faculty are not only concerned with their personal research, but also realize that the high quality of our students allows for very important student/faculty collaboration. A major goal is to engage undergraduates in levels of participation typically reserved for graduate or professional study.
Credit for this remarkable structure is given to The Winter Construction Company and to O'Neal, Inc., both of Atlanta, and to the administration and staff, science faculty, students, and benefactors of Berry College.