The Hewitt experiment

"The science department at Oswego State will receive a facelift starting this fall as construction begins on a multi-million dollar project, which includes moving the science facilities from Piez Hall to Snygg Hall and the Hewitt Union.

"Dr. Casey Raymond, chairman of the Science Planning Committee and a professor at Oswego State, collaborated with a group of faculty members to develop a plan for the transition.

""The goal was to ensure all the science courses had a place to function," he said.

"The committee relocated the biological science labs to Snygg Hall, because these courses require access to water, fuel hoods, and gas. Earth science courses, which require computer access, were moved to Hewitt.

"Raymond added that additional preparation was necessary for the buildings to maintain for the science labs.

"Several libraries in Snygg Hall were emptied and offices were shuffled around, to accommodate room for adjunct faculty members in chemistry, physics, and math. Utility and electrical work was also done to prepare both buildings ready for the labs.

"Tom Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities, said that Snygg and Hewitt will house the science labs until construction is finished in 2013. The finished project will include utility relocations, and a renovation to Piez, which will include the addition of an attached building.

""[We’re] advancing science facilities to become state of the art," he said.

"The transition, however, wasn’t perfect. Raymond said that many professors postponed lab classes for two weeks because some rooms were not ready by the start of the semester.

""I don’t think it’ll have a big, negative impact, but it would have been better to be on schedule," he said.

"The transition is affecting more than just the lab times however. For many students, the transition out of Piez is bittersweet. Christine Stacey, a junior meteorology major, said that it’s difficult to be the class between Piez and the new science building. One thing that Hewitt lacks is a roof with access for meteorology students. Instead, students have to be escorted onto Snygg’s roof by a professor to study weather hands-on.

""There was a lot of memories up there. Having the roof is another really good key because being able to see the action is better than textbooks," said Stacey.

"Stacey also noticed other minor problems with the new classrooms. For the first few days of classes, GARP, the computer program that students use to find forecasting models, was not available.

""We couldn’t hop on and see what Hurricane Earl was predicted to do. But, I think it’s a benefit to be in [Hewitt]. There’s a lot more space to do things," she said.

"Stacey said many of the rooms in Piez were crowded by books and computers, and there was little room to move around. Now, in Hewitt Union, there is not only space, but two pool tables, where Stacey says some of her classmates are planning to have tournaments.

""Meteorologists, we’re family. Hewitt is our stand-in home," Stacey said.