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Stetson University has announced it will break ground this summer on the new Cici & Hyatt Brown Hall for Health & Innovation. The end result will be a 120,000-square-foot science complex for students studying the health sciences, environmental sciences and other fields.

According to a news release, the building is named for longtime trustees and supporters Hyatt and Cici Brown, who donated $18 million to the project in 2018.

At just over 40,000 square feet, the new building will connect to the 81,000-square-foot Sage Hall Science Center through glass-enclosed walkways and is scheduled for completion by the fall 2022 semester.

In addition to new construction, Stetson earlier this month began to renovate and update portions of Sage Hall. The Sage Hall project is expected to be completed before students return for the fall 2021 semester.

“We are excited to see this new science building break ground in June,” Bonita Dukes, associate vice president for facilities management, said in the release. “We are very grateful for Cici and Hyatt Brown’s generous donation. The university’s vision for the new building is to create spaces and experiences that will allow ideas, learning and interests to converge, and evolve into groundbreaking discoveries and innovative pedagogy.”

Stetson launched the Sage Hall renovation May 10, when the parking lot behind the duPont-Ball Library accessed from East Arizona Avenue was closed and fencing went up as construction crews began site work.

“Brown Hall and a renovated Sage Hall will provide expanded space for majors such as health sciences, biology and public health that have grown substantially over the last few years,” Elizabeth Skomp, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in the news release.

Renovations to Sage Hall will include a new cluster of research labs consisting of four different research areas, to include cell tissue culture research, as well as molecular and microscopy research.

Plans also include adding more formal and informal collaboration spaces for students and enclosing a second-floor, 1,200-square-foot balcony. Changes to Sage Hall will require upgrading the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure to support the demands of the new research environments.

The vision for the new Brown Hall is to create spaces and experiences that will bring new opportunities for the Stetson students in health sciences, environmental science, counselor education, sustainable food systems, public health and community engagement, the release says.

One of the goals of Brown Hall is to help elevate Stetson’s presence in the science and health sciences arenas to improve not only the health outcomes of Volusia County and the greater community, but also to accelerate its students’ readiness to meet the academic demands of health professional schools and their ability to get those highly demanded health care jobs.


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