Clark Hall Project Impacts Biology Department

By Jonathan Watts on September 17, 2007

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Successfully adjusting to their year-long exile from Clark Hall, PUC's biology professors have settled into temporary quarters while they await the completion of the Clark Hall remodelling and expansion project.

"We're kind of camping. We just have to make do with what we have," said Gilbert Muth, professor of biology, of the department's current lodgings. But in general, the transition period is proceeding with few snags. Only one class, an elective, has been canceled for the next school year. The chemistry department is making a couple of laboratories available, and the physics department is making storage and prep space available. "The other science departments are being very helpful and nurturing for us, helping us over this little rough spot here," said Terry Trivett, professor of biology and department chair.

Pacific Union College's biology students will have to make a few adjustments as they figure out where classes and labs will meet. Some additional biology classes will be relocated to Irwin Hall, Davidian Hall, and Chan Shun Hall; and the biology department's venerable trailers, which have long hosted ornithology, vertebrate natural history, and natural history of California labs, will now serve as the location for biological foundations labs. "Students will learn new places, and get to enjoy the trailers for their labs," said Bryan Ness, associate professor of biology.

But in the meantime, biology students and teachers can watch the transformation of Clark Hall, which is scheduled to be completed by graduation of 1998. "It will be rewarding to look up there and see changes going on while we go to the other buildings," said Trivett.

The changes will be extensive. Clark Hall's exterior will be completely renovated, and the interior floor plan will be modified and updated."The interior plan is 90% different. This is not a little facelift. It is a major overhaul," said Trivett. And Clark Hall's new wing will add an office, conference room, seminar room, classroom, computer lab, and a working zoology museum, the last of which will occupy the wing's basement level and first floor. The museum will display the biology department's collection of avian and small mammal specimens, many of which where collected by Don Hemphill, professor emeritus of biology. It will also house an impressive collection of large specimens, including bears, mountain sheep, and a mountain lion, which are being donated by Dr. Wilmer Hansen, class of '37. "It will be a great improvement over anything we have ever had. Those two floors should give our zoological exhibits a proper home and study arena," said Trivett.

Overall, Trivett and his colleagues are looking forward to the completion of Clark Hall's renovation and expansion. "The new Clark Hall will enable our students to learn more efficiently and with greater enjoyment," he said.