The recommendations from last year's HP200 class, Clarkson Campus Landscape: Functional Routes and Paths, greatly influenced the latest infill project to the Science Center. In fact, it has become more than infill, but a connecting building between the Science Center and the ERC. Accessibility was a major factor in the design. Cast your minds back to how you would have navigated the lecture wing or gotten into SC360, if you were in a wheelchair. Not easily done. Well, the connector has an elevator right in the middle, which will make both the lecture wing and the second floor of the ERC more accessible. The project connects in another sense as well. It adds study space, student meeting rooms, and computing facilities--in effect, extending the second floor of the ERC. To the Science Center, it adds more research labs, offices, and classrooms. When the project is done, it will be possible to walk indoors through three academic buildings, most likely prompting plans to connect Rowley and the ERC as well.
Last year, we lost a potential Honors student who had wanted to study rehabilitation engineering here. She was a great student, whom we would have loved to see in the program. But there were days when she would have needed to use a wheelchair, and other days when she needed easily accessible doors. You can imagine her frustration when she toured the lecture end of the Science Center. When the connector is finished, the members of the 2005 edition of HP200 will have changed Clarkson. Rehabilitation engineering and physical therapy will be more than programs we offer; they will be design factors to the buildings in which their classes are offered and to the pathways by which the campus is navigated.