Built in 1978, the 27,551-square-foot Vermeer Science Center at Central College, Pella, Iowa, needed significant upgrades to mechanical systems, computer network connections, classrooms and laboratory spaces.
The 43,645-square-foot wraparound addition houses classrooms, and laboratory and office space. Advanced student and faculty research labs are grouped together by physical requirements such as the concentration of fume hoods or proximity to the service area or research greenhouse.
Faculty offices are clustered on the addition's north side to encourage faculty interaction. The prominent corners of the addition feature common spaces such as study rooms, computer labs and a 100-seat multipurpose auditorium. Other spaces include a greenhouse, museum display areas, and a special collections science library and reading room.
This project is the first LEED-certified science facility in Iowa, achieving the silver level of certification. Various tactics were used to meet LEED criteria, including the use of double-passed air and reheat-recovery strategies.
The architect is Holabird & Root (Chicago).