Faculty and staff and dignitaries will use more than the usual bunch of scissors when they cut the red ribbon to officially dedicate Lake Superior State University's Harry Crawford Hall of Science on Friday, Sept. 22.
Instruments used in the professions taught in the building will be put to use for the ribbon cutting, according to Dr. David Myton, acting dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences. A scalpel, Bunsen burner, fillet knife, lab tongs and even a chainsaw will be among the items used to break the ribbon and formally dedicate the building on Friday. Some of the cutters will wield scissors, but even those will not be ordinary. They will be medical bandage scissors and dissection scissors. Several fields of study are centered in the new building, including nursing, biology, chemistry, geology, environmental studies, and more.
The public is invited to attend Friday's dedication, which begins at 11:30 a.m. in front of Crawford Hall. In the event of rain, the dedication will be held in the lobby. Speakers include LSSU President Dr. Robert Arbuckle; William Gregory, chair of the LSSU Board of Trustees; John Lehman, LSSU professor of chemistry; Eric Dean, president of LSSU Student Government and members of the Harry Crawford family. The LSSU Concert Band, under the direction of Beth Hronek, will perform, and light refreshments will be served.
Also during the ceremony, the audience will be treated to LSSU's new carillon, which has been ringing on the campus for the first time in many years.
"When the original Harry L. Crawford Hall of Science was constructed, ecology was a young discipline, the structure of DNA had just been discovered, plate tectonics was in its infancy, and the practice of nursing was still largely confined to hospitals and doctors' offices," said LSSU Provost Dr. Don McCrimmon. "Today's Crawford Hall is equipped to educate our students well into the future."
The original building was completed in December 1964 at a cost of $750,000. Governor George Romney laid the cornerstone for the 33,000 square foot project.
In October 1972, after a four-inch snowfall, the University broke ground on a $1.8 million addition that would more than double the size of Crawford to 68,000 sq. ft. The addition opened in 1974.
"Crawford Hall served the student body for many years, but the time came to expand and improve it," said LSSU President Dr. Robert Arbuckle. "We are very proud of this new building, and the students are just as excited about it as we are. We hope the community will join us in the dedication ceremonies for this building."
Governor John Engler came to campus to help celebrate the groundbreaking of the new building on May 2, 1998. Work began with the razing of the Crawford Auditorium to make room for a 46,000-sq. ft. addition. Once the addition was completed, crews started renovating the older sections of the building. The result is 130,000-sq. ft. of new and renovated space including new laboratories and faculty offices. The labs were recognized for their design by R & D Magazine, which declared Crawford as its "Renovated Lab of the Year." (see related press release for more information)
The new building blends the modern with the historical features of campus. The brick walls and peaked roof resonate a theme begun almost 100 years ago when the campus was Fort Brady. Prominent banks of windows and dominant geometrical shapes reflect the future.
Harry L. Crawford was one of the first directors of what was then the Sault Branch of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, serving from 1963 to 1965, just after the original science hall was completed. Enrollment doubled during the Crawford years, from approximately 300 to approximately 700 students. In addition, athletic programs were expanded, and the former Fort Brady accelerated its transition from U.S. Army institution to a place to seek higher education.
RELATED STORY: Carillon Rings on LSSU Campus, Again
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