The stars might be fake, but the twinkle in instructors' eyes will be real.
Utah Valley Community College's $6.6 million science building should be completed by Sept. 19, and the staff has big dreams for the space."Our science teachers are planning all kinds of things," Dick Chappell, vice president of administrative services, said Friday. "This is their first chance to really show off what they know.
"There will be a greenhouse to support the life sciences classes. We will have an instructional planetarium - the stars will be projected for teaching purposes."
Chappell hopes the school will get a Foucault pendulum. It would be suspended from the ceiling of the three-story science building, and would demonstrate the rotation of the earth. In addition, the building will have a video system that projects telescopic and microscopic images onto a large screen.
Faculty members are planning a weather station in which to compile information on conditions in various parts of the country.
The building will have 85,000 square feet of space, house about 20 classrooms and several display areas and will be the first facility constructed to support general education at the college. Other buildings house technical or vocational departments or administration. Chappell said the demand is there for general education classes to prepare students for four-year colleges.
"This building will enable us to offer all the basic classes that freshmen and sophomores need for transfer credit," he said. "Anyone majoring in the sciences will be able to get classes here that we haven't been able to offer in the past.
"We will still have our vocational and technical programs, but we are expanding our mission to better meet the needs of transfer students."
The structure is on the west side of campus, between the student activity center and the environmental technology center. It will be linked to the rest of campus with interior hallways.
Offerings will include astronomy, geography and other natural, physical and life sciences. Some courses were offered in the past, but were scattered over the campus in technical and trade buildings.
Chappell said since the ground-breaking in February 1988, contractors and architects have stayed amazingly close to their projected budget. Despite cold-weather delays, everything is on schedule, he said.
With site preparation, landscaping and furniture, the entire project should cost $8.9 million.