Catawba College Center for the Environment and Shuford Science Community Open House

The Salisbury/Rowan communities will get their chance to see first-hand the renovations recently completed to Catawba College’s Center for the Environment and Shuford Science Building. Community members are invited to an Open House on Thursday, September 21st from 5 – 7 pm at the Salisbury campus. Light appetizers and beverages will be available.

“We look forward to welcoming members of the Salisbury / Rowan communities to campus to see for themselves the transformations that have taken place on campus recently,” said Dr. David Nelson, President of Catawba College. “We are so thankful to have completed these renovations providing for improved learning and teaching experiences.”

Catawba's Center for the Environment was re-opened for use several weeks ago in time for the Fall semester. Labs and classrooms were updated, and new collaboration and office spaces were created, focusing on more efficient and sustainable usage for the building.

“One of the greatest assets of the Center for the Environment is its position on a bluff overlooking the 189-acre Fred Stanback, Jr. Ecological Preserve,” said Dr. Jay Bolin, Dean of Catawba’s ABC. “Our field-based courses such as Wildlife Ecology, Field Botany, Ornithology, and Animal Behavior, among many others, are offered in the laboratories of the Center for the Environment where students step outside of the classroom and wet labs directly into the Preserve to apply theory to the natural environment.”

The initial concept of the renovation was to bring the outside in. Catawba worked with partners DLR and Edifice on the project. Visual barriers were broken down, the use of natural light was improved, and a color palette complimenting the surrounding nature was utilized.

Last year a beloved 100-year -old red oak tree had to be removed due to damage. The historic tree was given new life throughout the Center’s interior in the lobby, central stairs, and student work area. The significance of the tree has been embraced with unique furniture designs that highlight the tree’s natural beauty and connection with the College.

The Shuford Science building renovation includes the Food and Fermentation Laboratory, a cell culturing facility, a marine coral culturing lab, a walk-in cool lab, a dedicated undergraduate research lab featuring bioinformatics workstations, and fully renovated physiology, physics, and general biology laboratories. A visualization instrumentation suite has been added along with new cutting-edge analytical and molecular equipment.

“Every aspect of the Shuford Science Building renovation is focused on enhancing student learning through hands-on experiences in the laboratories,” added Bolin.

Funding for the renovations was supported by anonymous gifts.

“We are very thankful for the gifts that enabled us to make such significant updates to two key buildings on our campus,” said Meg Dees, Vice President of Development. “The steadfast support and generosity of our donors allows us to provide Innovative equipment, facilities, resources, and technologies for our students, faculty, and staff.”

In lieu of a ribbon cutting, Catawba will plant a tree in celebration of the re-opening of the Center for the Environment at 5:15 pm as part of the Open House festivities.

Parking will be available at the Robertson College Community Center (2220 West Innes Street, Salisbury, NC 28144) or the Shuford Science Building (180 Faculty-Staff Drive, Salisbury, NC 28147).

RSVPs are requested online at or by emailing or by calling 704.637.4394.

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