UNH College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire celebrated the reopening of Kingsbury Hall, home to the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS), during a dedication ceremony Saturday, October 13, 2007. Students, alumni, faculty, funding partners, and university leaders attended the dedication of Kingsbury, which houses four engineering departments (chemical, civil, electrical and computer and mechanical) as well as the departments of mathematics & statistics and computer science.
The $52 million renovation and expansion added more than 20,000 square feet for a total building size of approximately 110,000 square feet. The UNH Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science Library, now 11,000 square feet, nearly doubled its size. Student project areas – previously nonexistent – now have 6,000 square feet of dedicated space. The renovation also brought bright, spacious classrooms and hallways, laboratories that look out onto hallways, and gathering places where students and faculty discuss problems and develop innovative solutions.
“The project has become a symbol of everything that the university is known for: a strong foundation honoring the discoveries, accomplishments and achievements of the past, while constantly moving forward with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories that provide first-class education benefiting not only our students, but also our state and our world — and our collective future,” said UNH President Mark Huddleston at the dedication ceremony.
CEPS Dean Joe Klewicki echoed Huddleston’s sentiments. “For educators, there is a deep satisfaction associated with the opportunity to help students reach their potential. I know I speak for the entire CEPS faculty when I express my deep sense of gratitude for this wonderful building,” he said.
The renovation of Kingsbury Hall is financed by a combination of public and private funds. “Many people have joined together to bring this building – this dream – to fruition,” said Huddleston. “Our united effort is a prime example of the power of partnerships. Together, we can and do accomplish great things.”
The state Legislature appropriated $44 million for the project in 2001 as part of the Knowledge Economy Education Plan, or KEEP-NH. The first corporate contributor to the Kingsbury renovation and renewal project was Kingsbury, Inc., founded by building namesake Albert Kingsbury, a UNH professor of mechanical engineering from 1889-1899. BAE Systems of Nashua provided leadership support with a $1 million gift to establish an advanced technology center.
“The renovated Kingsbury Hall is a wonderful resource for UNH’s aspiring engineers and scientists, but equally importantly, the college is an exceptional resource for engineering, businesses and industries statewide,” said Michael Heffron, president of BAE Systems. “BAE Systems believes that the companies that rely on UNH to educate New Hampshire’s high-technology workforce must join public/private partnerships such as the effort to renovate Kingsbury Hall in order to secure the future of the state's high technology economy.”
When Kingsbury opened in 1950, the transistor had just been invented, black and white televisions were becoming have-to-haves in American homes and the first real-time computer was yet to be a reality. Total UNH enrollment was just 3,800 students, compared to more than 14,000 today, and Kingsbury was the largest building on campus. As technology and knowledge surged forward, however, Kingsbury’s facilities lagged. Before its renovation, students learned in crowded, poorly lit classrooms and faculty told of having to choose between turning on lights or running a computer.
“When I graduated from UNH in 1950, Kingsbury had just been completed,” said Jack Smith, president of the CEPS Alumni Society and a mechanical engineering major. “Over the years, I had a vision of how fortunate the students were to be going to classes and labs in a great new building. Well, my eyes were opened when [associate] dean Bob Henry offered to take me on a tour. Not only was a renovation needed, but also additional classrooms and labs.”
The new Kingsbury Hall has caught up with the needs of 21st century scientists, engineers and mathematicians. Laboratories have the appropriate infrastructure, with high-bay areas, wind tunnels, heating, air and ventilation throughout, computer clusters, and designated student project spaces. Each classroom has Internet access with LCD projectors, and two state-of-the-art lecture halls accommodate larger groups.
In addition, the UNH Parents Association pledged more than $300,000 toward the UNH Parents Association Lecture Hall, a technology-enhanced classroom that features remote-controlled window shades, lights, projection screen, a color touch panel, and a variety of electronics for teaching and learning in the 21st century.
HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS TO DOWNLOAD:
Caption: Carmela Amato-Wierda, associate professor of material science, teaching in one of the new Kingsbury lecture halls at UNH. Credit: UNH Photo Services
The renovated and expanded Kingsbury Hall at the University of New Hampshire. Credit: Bob Henry.