House 5 being converted into science lab

Faculty Row will soon see a science lab in one of the for­mer houses.

House 5, one of the only remaining original faculty houses on campus,

will soon be transformed into an environmental science lab, according to Wally Smith, as­sistant professor of biology.

The Dominion Founda­tion, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, has giv­en The University of Virginia’s College at Wise $25,000 in order to turn the former living facility into a lab/classroom/ meeting space, according to Smith.

The lab, introduced largely in order to give science classes an easier means of studying the wetlands on the college’s cam­pus, will hopefully provide op­portunity for more instruction time, according to Smith.

“UVa-Wise is one of the only colleges that has the benefit of having a wetlands, which is great, but the distance between the lab and the area made things difficult,” Smith said.

The wetlands are located near Martha Randolph Hall at the edge of campus. The area is home to several species of plants and animals, which stu­dents study.

Right now, professors have to deal with preparing the equipment and making the trip down to the wetlands, but the lab will make the difference, Smith said.

Professors can tell students to meet them at the wetlands lab and then we can be on site in 30 seconds and go right back to do research, he said.

Smith said that the con­struction on campus hasn’t had any negative effects on the wetlands area so far, and the lab will help to make sure things don’t change.

The lab will be used not only for environmental labs, but is being considered a sort of all-purpose meeting place, that can be used for groups and clubs, according to Smith. “We can have K-12 groups come in for outreach programs,” Smith said.

The final project is expect­ed to be completed by next fall or sooner, as the grant has a one year term.

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