Marking a milestone in the construction of the new Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS), Montclair State University administrators and officials from Terminal Construction held a “topping-off” celebration on December 20, as the final steel beam in the building’s structure was lifted into place.
President Susan A. Cole, University Trustee William T. Mullen and College of Science and Mathematics Dean Robert Prezant joined a group of University administrators and construction project team members in signing the beam before the crane lifted it to the top of the structure.
“It’s about the future of our students,” said Dean Prezant as the beam moved into place. “And this is the beam that symbolizes the dream of our students and faculty.”
Scheduled to be completed in spring 2015, the 107,500-square-foot science facility will expand the University’s science research infrastructure by 50 percent and provide much-needed laboratory and classroom space. CELS will house the Department of Earth and Environmental Studies, the Sokol Institute for the Pharmaceutical Life Sciences, the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies and the Passaic River Institute.
Coming less than two months after the groundbreaking ceremony, the topping-off event highlights the exceptional progress that Terminal Construction is making on the project.
“They’ve done an incredible job moving it along,” Prezant says. “They’re moving faster than any construction site I’ve ever seen. They broke ground in August and in that short time to be up to the fourth floor and pouring cement is remarkable.”
CELS will be used for environmental and pharmaceutical life sciences research and will allow the College of Science and Mathematics’ collaborative culture to flourish, advancing science and technology – especially in the areas of sustaining natural resources and improving human health.
With the growing interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the new state-of-the-art facility will help attract top STEM students and keep them in New Jersey rather than pursuing research opportunities out-of-state.
“It’s all about the future of our students and insuring access with substantive results for their collective future” emphasizes Prezant. “That’s why we’re growing.”