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Center for Science & Innovation dedicated to students, community

HOUSTON – Lone Star College-University Park welcomed industry leaders, partners and community members to the college’s new Center for Science & Innovation (CSI) at a dedication event in May. 

Partnership, collaboration, dedication and innovation were just a few of the words used to describe LSC-University Park as the new CSI building was dedicated to students and the community. The college welcomed a large crowd to the event, and recognized those who helped make the 50,000-square foot, three story facility a reality.

“The CSI mirrors LSC-University Park’s innovative culture as we actively expand our academic offerings and facilities to reflect the needs of the diverse student population we serve,” said Dr. Shah Ardalan, LSC-University Park president. “We’re thankful to the community and partners who helped us build the CSI and add value to our college. This new facility serves as a resource for the community, enables us to serve our students better and will encourage more students to consider STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) careers.”  

The $15.4 million CSI building creates a state-of-the-art learning environment with cutting-edge science labs, an astronomy observation deck, technologically advanced equipment, and collaborative workspaces. Attendees toured the building and viewed the facility’s amenities firsthand, and interacted with faculty and students.

Several speakers shared remarks at the event, including Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., LSC chancellor, and Dr. Alton Smith, LSC Board of Trustees chair. Natalia Arizmendi, LSC-University Park Student Government Association president, spoke to the impact of the CSI on students, while Dave Stover, CEO of Noble Energy, and Dr. Veronique Tran, former LSC-University Park dean of math and sciences, presented the community and faculty perspectives, respectively. 

“The dedication of the advanced CSI marks the continued growth of LSC and our commitment to continuously meet the needs of our students,” said Dr. Head. “Every day, we strive to be a resource for the community, and the CSI will undoubtedly offer opportunity for many years to come.”

“We wanted the CSI to be a place of discovery,” said Dr. Tran. “It’s going to be amazing. As students are in the space, they can discover the hidden gems that we have placed in various areas. We want it to be a hands-on and immersive learning environment.”

The event showcased the CSI as an excellent resource for students and the community. Proclamations from Commissioner R. Jack Cagle and U.S. Representative Kevin Brady were presented, reinforcing the CSI’s value to the community. Dr. Ardalan also presented a dedication plaque to Dr. Tran for her leadership and role in the project.

During construction of CSI, LSC-University Park’s partner, Noble Energy, contributed to the design and donated $250,000 to build the Geology Rock Wall, the hallmark of the college’s geology program. The rock wall allows students a hands-on, visual approach to learning by providing examples of the physical and historical geology elements students would find in the field.

In recognition of Noble Energy’s partnership with the college, Dr. Ardalan unveiled the design of the LSC-University Park Noble Energy Innovation Plaza that will serve the college community, as well as serve as flood mitigation.

The college will continue to make additions to the CSI and LSC-University Park facilities to meet the needs of students and the community. A food kiosk and a covered walkway, currently in the programmatic phase, will be added to the CSI.

LSC-University Park is working on the design of a $23.7 million instructional arts building, which will include an auditorium and classroom space. The instructional arts building will serve music, fine arts and theatre, and include an art gallery to exhibit framed art and sculpture. The instructional arts building is scheduled to open late 2020.

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