Since its inception in 2012, demand for ACU’s new engineering program has soared beyond even the most optimistic projections. After an initial class of 36 students in 2012-13, freshman enrollment in the program doubled to 72 in August 2013 and continues to grow.
Not only does the Department of Engineering and Physics need additional classroom and office space, it also needs lab space for students to build the projects they engineer. To that end, historic Bennett Gymnasium – one of the original buildings constructed in 1929-30 when ACU moved to its present campus – will be converted into a laboratory, workshop and teaching space.
This 24,000-square-foot remodel will reinvigorate an aging building and provide innovative, modern facilities for an academic department that has long been a national leader in providing research opportunities for its undergraduate students.
ACU engineering students will have the opportunity not only to partner with physics majors on research at national laboratories such as FermiLab and Brookhaven, but they will now have dedicated space for their own unique projects.
Along with improving the academic quality for ACU’s engineering program, a new facility dedicated to the needs of engineering and physics students, adjacent to the Halbert-Walling Research Center, will enhance the spirit of Christ-centered community the university works hard to cultivate on campus.
Crews began work in the summer of 2014, with an expected opening date before Christmas.
“With a new science facility, ACU will build a premier engineering program to match the premier physics program for which this department has long been known.”
“ACU has one of the only undergraduate programs that actually involves undergraduates in research. We’re not just file organizers and pick-up-the-paper-clips people. We’re doing research at the level of graduate students.”