Meredith Stafford, staff writer
The new Animal Science Building is one of Berry’s newest additions to campus this year. The new building is in conjunction with McAllister whereas the program had previously been housed in the Westcott building across campus. It houses classrooms, laboratories and faculty offices.
According to Judy Wilson, department chair for animal science, the previous facilities were not conducive to the program.
“They were very small and being the largest major as far as student numbers, we were very cramped in that building,” Wilson said. “The equipment was also very old in that building.”
The administration had been aware of the issues the animal science program had in the Westcott building and were working on a solution for years. In Westcott, there were three classrooms and two laboratories. In comparison, the Animal Science Building features many more classrooms that are designed for Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL).
Wilson explained that they were able to obtain the funds necessary for the building to come to fruition through advancement.
Assistant Professor of Animal Science Dawn Bresnahan explained the significance of the new building to faculty research work and access to equipment. According to Bresnahan, much of the faculty had not had a dedicated research space before the new Animal Science building, which has a large shared community laboratory and three smaller research spaces.
“I think it’s provided a workspace for some faculty that previously haven’t had one, and that’s one of the research benefits from a teaching perspective,” Bresnahan said.
Bresnahan explained that, prior to their new classrooms, many professors were working with projectors and whiteboards.
“Now we have the ability to utilize technology more effectively,” Bresnahan said.
Bresnahan says that the new laboratory equipment in teaching labs includes features such as snorkels, which aid in air quality for students during dissections.
In addition to this, Bresnahan estimates that the new spaces are triple the size of their old teaching labs, so the new building gives professors nicer and larger facilities to work with.
“It shows a commitment to our program and provides us with some much needed resources so that we can elevate what we were already doing,” Bresnahan said. “We’ve been very good at making it work and now we don’t really have to necessarily make it work as much because we have much better facilities to be working within.”
Bresnahan feels that this new building makes the Animal Science program more part of the campus community.
“We’re very appreciative of Berry making this investment in this program for us,” Bresnahan said.
The Animal Science Building is housed next to McAllister in order to increase proximity to the other departments of mathematics and sciences. Wilson added that the new building made the program more central to campus. While the building is primarily for use by animal science majors, the building hosts a chemistry class and other science classes are able to use open space.
Wilson is hopeful that the new building will benefit both potential students and donors as well as current faculty and students.
“It’s a wonderful modern facility and the department is very happy that we have this as our home now,” Wilson said. “It’s a showpiece now for Berry College.”
Additionally, Jay Daniel, professor of animal science, says that the building contains laboratories both for teaching purposes and for faculty use. The laboratories are designed more uniquely for different activities like necropsy, anatomy and physiology, and community and student research. Daniel explained that he found the previous animal science building to be limited in space and further away from the rest of campus.
“I think they built this building so we could have a newer, more modern facility with more appropriate space,” Daniel said.
Daniel is excited about the future potential the new building has and the positive change it will bring to the Berry campus.
“I think having us closer to the rest of the campus will allow for more collaboration with other departments and I think it’ll help with student recruitment,” Daniel said.