CMU partners with McConnell Math and Science Center
Monday, October 19, 2015 10:00 AM
Colorado Mesa University and the John McConnell Math and Science Center will join forces to bring the center to campus in the university's proposed computer science and engineering building on the main campus.
"This is a unique opportunity to combine the educational and hands-on experience of the Math and Science Center with the academic resources of CMU, resulting in a synergy which will provide significant benefit for the center, CMU and, most of all, the community," said John Hopkins, president of the Math and Science Center Board of Directors.
"Clearly CMU has been very successful in recent years and the Math and Science Center will benefit from and, I believe, add to that success. Each brings its own outstanding resources and the beneficiaries are the children of the Grand Valley and the Western Slope," he said.
For 25 years, the non-profit organization has worked to create excitement and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on, interactive experiences. The center hosts field trips, camps and other special events, and provides resources for parents and teachers.
Math and Science Center Executive Director Teresa Coons, who has served in that position for seven years, said she has worked closely with CMU students and faculty to enhance the programs the center delivers to West Slope children and communities.
"CMU engineering, science, math and teacher education students have been the backbone of our after-school and summer camp programs and our outreach into the community," Coons said. "This new opportunity for relocating the Math and Science Center's physical facilities to the CMU campus will strengthen this partnership and collaboration. I am especially excited about the opportunity for teacher education students to work directly with Pre-K-12 students at the center, making it a living laboratory and classroom for these new teachers and a direct connection to higher education for local Pre-K-12 students."
Foster echoed Coons' sentiments. "There are so many good reasons to implement this idea and the hands-on opportunity to work with Pre-K-12-aged children it offers our teacher education students is high on that list," he said. "I also think it is another great opportunity for West Slope kids to come to campus and to be able to imagine themselves as college students."
CMU has requested state funding to pay part of the cost of the proposed 87,000-square-foot building. The project would be phased over two years. The university is requesting $5 million from the state the first year and $18.5 million the second year for the $32.8 million building. In exchange for 19,500 square-feet on the first floor of the new building, the Math and Science Center will give the university $7 million.
Foster thanked Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, for reopening the department's process for ranking capital construction requests so consideration could be given to the partnership with the Math and Science Center. As a result, CMU's request moved from seventh on the list to fifth.
Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations