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Wight & Company Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Science and Learning Center

Wight & Company (Wight) joined client Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (Saint Mary’s) this fall to celebrate the groundbreaking for a major campus addition. Wight was chosen by Saint Mary’s to create a new $19 million Science and Learning Center for the university’s Winona Campus. The 50,000-square foot contemporary building is envisioned as a focal point of the campus and is Saint Mary’s most ambitious building project to date.

Wight is serving as architect and construction manager for the Science and Learning Center. The building will connect to the university’s existing Adducci Science Center, which will undergo partial renovation to accommodate the new building. Wight will oversee the renovation and is also providing civil engineering, structural engineering, and MEP engineering services. Jacobs Consultancy will manage laboratory design. “This will be an extraordinary addition to Saint Mary’s Winona Campus,” according to Patrick Cermak, Wight’s president and chief operating officer. “We are creating a 21st century facility for science education that will transform the learning and research opportunities for both faculty and students,” explained Cermak.

Kevin Havens, Wight’s executive vice president and director of design, describes the vision for the new academic center: “Our design energizes  Saint Mary’s Winona Campus with a modern building that promotes dialogue with nearby historic structures. We are creating a space that will inspire students and faculty, encouraging exploration and discovery.”  Building highlights include:

  • An interior atrium that visually connects all three building floors and draws in sunlight, creating ideal spaces for study and student interactions
  • State-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories
  • A layout designed to promote hands-on learning opportunities
  • An auditorium space for university and community events

“We’re building an environment for students who aspire to careers of consequence in science,” explains Saint Mary’s President Brother William Mann. “This new Science and Learning Center will give our students an even greater career advantage.” The center will support learning and research activities in a multitude of disciplines including biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, math and computer science.

Target completion date for the building is June 2017. Key Wight project team members for the Science and Learning Center include Jim Nagle, Kevin Havens, Andrew Joseph, Tom Roth, Matthew Zolecki, Nick Sleboda, Matthew Aquino, Sudesh Saraf and Jim Blowers.