Science Teachers Shed Positive Light on the Move to Cascade

Laura Hughes prepares for the move to Cascade. (Photo Cred: Miranda Duggan)
Laura Hughes prepares for the move to Cascade. (Photo Cred: Miranda Duggan)

Boxes piled high and antsy science teachers await the upcoming move to Cascade. As summer approaches, it’s goodbye to the 45-year-old science building that is held dear to many students and faculty.

As Laura Hughes packs up her office of books, cellular models, and scientific experiments, she does it with a smile on her face. Hughes, science professor at Southern Oregon University and Department Chair of Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, and Engineering welcomes the move to Cascade.

Hughes has been teaching science at SOU for 18 years, so the science building is a second home to her. However, all good things must come to an end, which is the general consensus of the science faculty.

Dave Marshall, chemistry storeroom manager and on the building committee of both the science building and Cascade renovations, elaborates on just how functioning and developed Cascade is.

“We are prepared to teach our full program,” states Marshall.

With 17 functioning lab spaces and classrooms and approximately 60 scheduled classes per week, Cascade will be a buzzing facility. Furthermore, faculty offices and storage rooms will be operating on the first floor in dorm rooms.

Hughes reminisces, “It will be sort of fun. Many of us professors were in dorms way long ago.”

Hiding behind the doors of Cascade awaits laboratories full of sinks, vents, gas hook ups, and equipment drawers.

“Although the transition is difficult, we are making it work,” assures Marshall.

Science students will have all of the resources necessary to get the most out of their education during their time in Cascade. When asked if there would be any teaching adjustments that would need to be made, Laura Hughes was confident there would only be a few. Board space and glassware were a few components that were compromised in the transition.

The budget for this transition provided a secure move for the science building, however all of the funds spent on Cascade means less funds for the renovations to the existing science building. Marshall admits, “We are operating as lean as possible.”

Any budgeting that happens during this time will greatly benefit the future of the new science building. Students and faculty are all excited about the move because it brings them one step closer to their new building.

“The new science building will be a fabulous addition to SOU. It will provide great opportunities for current and incoming students,” ensures Marshall.

Come summer, the move to Cascade will be a collaborative effort of students, faculty, and professional movers. The process will be done by Fall and the building will be ready for use when classes start.