Bioscience Education Center
The 145,000 square-foot building represents an $87.9 million investment in STEM education and workforce development. The Bioscience Education Center houses:
- six general purpose classrooms,
- 25 wet laboratories,
- a science learning center,
- a detached greenhouse complex,
- 48 offices to support the biology, biotechnology, and chemistry curricula,
- a 4,115-square-foot meeting room (conference center) and five break-out rooms.
Throughout the facility, 700 electronic devices, including Smart Instructor Work Stations, computers, and monitors will support activities in the classrooms and labs.
The building's biotechnology laboratories were designed to provide instruction meeting industry standards, including dedicated space for teaching cell culture, biomanufacturing (cell propagation using bioreactors and protein purification using FPLC units), and genetic diagnostics utilizing Next Generation DNA sequencers and digital droplet PCR. A mock GMP lab that mimics the industry environment provides training opportunities for local industry partners.
"We are not your average college, and this is not your average bioscience education building," said Dr. Collins R. Jones, professor of biotechnology. "This building has greatly surpassed our expectations."
The projected LEED Gold-certified center features numerous sustainable elements, including roof-mounted wind turbines, a 30KW grid-connected photovoltaic solar panel system, and a high performance mechanical system with ice production/storage and ammonia chillers. More than 75 acres of mature forest and a stream valley buffer will be preserved on the Germantown Campus. The forest reserve includes a champion American elm with a 100-foot canopy – one of the largest in Montgomery County.
Maryland is a global leader in bioscience and technology education, and ranks among the top five regions nationally in biotechnology. The Center offers outreach activities for Montgomery County Public Schools students. It also presents opportunities for research and professional training in collaboration with local businesses, academic, and government labs.
"Our Bioscience Education Center will fortify our workforce, from lab bench workers to the next generation of scientists," says Montgomery College President Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard. "It will fuel our economy. It will drive new discoveries and open new vistas."