The Health, Science and Technology Building’s groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, Oct. 25, celebrated not only a milestone of progress toward building Lehigh’s College of Health, but also the opportunities that will be available to faculty, staff and students in fall 2021.
In what will be the largest building on Asa Packer Campus, the Health, Science and Technology Building will house the College of Health, affording space to new Lehigh programs and research opportunities.
The project is the cornerstone of Lehigh’s Path to Prominence plan, the initiative through which the university intends to expand its impact.
“The College of Health will train the next generation of innovators and diverse scientists and leaders in population health with a focus on innovation in tech,” said Whitney Witt, the inaugural dean for the College of Health.
With cutting-edge coursework and experiential learning opportunities available to faculty, staff and students, the Health, Science and Technology Building will teach the importance of data science to improve the health of millions of people.
Not only will the health, science and technology building include a physical bridge connected to Whitaker Lab over Asa Drive, but it will serve as a metaphorical bridge connecting faculty, staff and students to the local community.
“The significance of this building (and) the impact of education and research programs will extend far beyond the walls,” Witt said. “(The Health, Science and Technology Building) will serve as a bridge to the community and open the door to future collaborations that will be based on data findings and support.”
The Health, Science and Technology Building is the first Lehigh academic building to have its main entrance toward South Bethlehem. The facility will welcome members of the local community to engage in health and wellness programs and participate in research.
“(The university) picked this site because it will be the entry to (the Health, Science and Technology Building) on the Southside. We’re bridging health, science and technology to the heart of Asa Packer Campus as well as to the greater Southside Bethlehem community,” said Brent Stringfellow, associate vice president of facilities and university architect.
The Health, Science and Technology Building represents a bridge between disciplines as well.
“There’s no specific department or discipline that will be housed (in the Health, Science and Technology Building) — it offers open concept labs and collaborative spaces,” President Simon said. “Faculty undergraduates and graduates will work side by side. The (Health, Science and Technology Building) will increase Lehigh’s capacity of problem solving and discovery.”
As improvements arise in health, science and technology, the building is designed so it may constantly adapt to take advantage of the latest opportunities.