Editorial: 'Augustana, Sanford Project Good for All'
Thursday, September 27, 2012
On Monday, Augustana announced plans to build a new, $30 million science facility following the largest gift in College history. The new building will be named in honor of Dr. Sven G. Froiland, professor of biology who served Augustana from 1946 to 1987. Phase two of the project features a $10 million renovation to the College’s Gilbert Science Center.
The following editorial about the project appears in the Thursday, Sept. 27, edition of the Argus Leader:
A small college with a big mission plans to build one of the largest construction projects in recent Sioux Falls history when it puts up a $30 million science center.
Augustana College announced this week that a $20 million Sanford Health grant will be two-thirds of the money needed to pay for the new Froiland science center, named after a former biology professor. The other $10 million will come from smaller donors to the college.
The school’s booming science programs are outgrowing the campus’ Gilbert Science center, built in 1966, which also will see $10 million in updates.
Interest in science has continued to grow at Augustana, with a 42 percent increase in biology majors from five years ago, a 51 percent increase in chemistry majors and a 28 percent increase in physics majors.
Augustana professors and students have stepped up their successes in undergraduate research projects in the past several years, and many health care workers in the city go to work at our hospitals after graduating. The school’s relationship with Sanford makes sense since they are near one another off of Grange Avenue.
The expanded campus science facilities are a good reminder that Augustana contributes much to the city’s fabric and success. The college has a strong reputation, has been conservative in its spending and has a good relationship with the city’s business community.
Sioux Falls long has needed more research-based activity to round out its retail and service sectors of the employment economy. It is important to have a strong research university in the community to help jobs in those areas grow as well. Augustana’s latest project bodes well for students, community business and all of us.