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‘Science on Display’: Renovations to Teaching Labs Continue in Science Center

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Harvard began renovations to the Science Center teaching laboratories in December 2023, closing off much of the first and second floors of the building as part of a longer renovation of the complex expected to end in the summer of 2025.

Initially built in 1972, the Science Center houses Cabot Library and spaces for a number of departments in STEM fields.

The construction includes the construction of around 20,000 square feet of new classrooms, labs and office space, according to design details posted on the Science Center website. Phase 1 of the construction is slated to end in January of 2025, with Phase 2 beginning shortly after.

Currently, the project is focused on renovating the four teaching labs on the first and second floors of the building.

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According to Science Center Facilities and Operations Manager Mark J. Pimentel, the renovations so far involve redeveloping four existing labs.

“Right now, three labs are completely gutted. The fourth lab is going to be maintaining occupancy until December, at which time the other three will be completed,” Pimentel said.

“One is a heavy use lab, there's another lighter use lab, and the third area, which was formerly a lab, is going to become additional classrooms and office space, as well as collaborative space,” he added.

According to the project website, one goal of the renovations is to make “science more visible.”

Pimentel said some of the walls of the labs will become glass to make them visible to common spaces.

“There’ll be science on display,” he said.

Another large focus of the renovations is improving accessibility throughout the Science Center. “We’re on a long-term schedule to upgrade the building, to get the building up to code completely for accessibility,” Pimentel said.

“As of this week, and next week, the original restrooms in the building will all be up to code in terms of accessibility,” he added. “Come this summer we'll begin adding accessible bathrooms to the first floor, the second floor, and the third floor.”

Other accessibility updates to the Science Center include additions of handrails and improvements to entrances and doors throughout the building.

The renovations will continue into the summer, including accessibility upgrades for lecture halls C and D.

Ultimately, the renovations aim to improve key spaces in the Science Center.

“These areas of the Science Center have not received any substantial upgrade of any kind since the original build, so that’s the big reason for it, is updating spaces,” Pimentel said.

—Staff Writer Danielle J. Im can be reached at danielle.im@thecrimson.com.

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