Swenson Science Center dedication slated

Public invited to tour $34M facility at Cal Lutheran

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The three-story, 47,000-square-foot building more than doubles the amount of space dedicated to science.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Oct. 4, 2021) The dedication ceremony for California Lutheran University’s $34 million Swenson Science Center will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22.

The public can register to attend the ceremony and tour the three-story, 47,000-square-foot building afterward. Refreshments will be served at 2:45 p.m.

The state-of-the-art facility, which connects to the 32-year-old Ahmanson Science Building through a bridge walkway, more than doubles the amount of space dedicated to science to accommodate the growth in the number of students studying it and conducting research. 

The building features 12 labs for teaching and eight for faculty and student research in chemistry, biology and exercise science. There are labs for biomechanics, organic synthesis, physiology and neuroscience, marine biology, cell and developmental genetics, exercise physiology ergometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Extensive windows put science on display from hallways.

Centralized vacuum and nitrogen systems in chemistry labs allow for air- and moisture-free work. Advanced building technology prevents even light shaking from affecting data collection by sensitive instruments. Designed for LEED Silver certification, the center has a hybrid heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that combines variable-refrigerant-flow heating and cooling with outdoor units that pull fresh air in using the latest heat-exchanger technology. Hour-by-hour schedules for classes and labs ensure HVAC and lights consume the minimum energy possible.

The center features many new pieces of equipment being used in an array of studies. One student is using the X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to test the paint on Papua New Guinea artifacts to uncover information about ceremonial practices. Others are employing the isothermal titration calorimetry instrument in their pursuit of a novel approach to treating infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The building is named for the late regent and chemist Jim Swenson and his wife, Sue Swenson, in recognition of their generous support of the fundraising campaign.

Construction of the center finished in summer 2020, but the pandemic postponed its full use and dedication until this semester.

Reservations are required. Register at https://bit.ly/3zGLMcj by Oct. 15. Attendees must comply with the visitor policy found at CalLutheran.edu/visitors, which includes completing a health check. For more information, contact S. Mackenzie Eastman at smeastman@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3851.