Sometimes a building is just a building. In the case of FLC’s newest academic hall, though, this building is also a highly functional artistic gateway to the future for FLC’s student scientists.
Sitter Family Hall, the recently opened home to the College’s Geosciences, Physics, and Engineering programs, is where science and art come together for a shared purpose. It features state-of-the-sciences technologies, laboratories, and classrooms designed for the particular needs of each academic program.
Also woven throughout the structure are dazzling integrated displays, exhibitions, and design features that are both beautiful and educational. The result is a building designed to both inspire and enable learning-by-doing.
This melding of art and science reflects both FLC’s liberal arts roots and the missions of the Geosciences and Physics & Engineering departments. Amenities include smart classrooms, tutoring and study spaces, fully equipped laboratories, electronics equipment, field tools, specimen displays, astronomical and optical technologies, and specialized testing and research facilities. A rooftop research observatory also supports physics and astronomy classes.
The new building was more than a decade in the making, involving a creative alliance of faculty, administration, and state representatives, along with the support of friends, alumni, and community and corporate donors. It was worth the wait: In Spring 2017, students and faculty moved into the College’s newest and grandest facility, filling the corridors, research labs, study nooks, and classrooms, and breathing life into a structure unlike any other at FLC.
Sitter Family Hall also completes the campus’ STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) complex. In addition to Sitter Family Hall, the College debuted Chemistry Hall in 2001 and Biology Hall in 2010. In total, FLC and the state have invested almost $67 million in 2016 dollars in campus STEM facilities.
Sometimes a building is just a building. But Sitter Family Hall is not just a building; it’s a learning tool that launches Fort Lewis College – and FLC’s students – into the future of the sciences, right here in Durango.