Saturday, February 24, 2018

Trinity Opens New Study Space on Crescent Street Devoted to Neuroscience and the Arts

SAM HOLLEY ’19

STAFF WRITER

The Crescent Center for Art and Neuroscience is a newly constructed facility that houses Neuroscience labs and a Film Production Studio, as well as a quiet student space and a new Art Gallery. The space also includes a Film Production Studio and a Media Performance Studio, known as the Art Corridor. Gender-neutral restrooms are scattered throughout the building and healthy snack options can be found in the student break room vending machines. In the Neuroscience block, one can get their hearing tested in the Language and Hearing Lab’s sound booth, or run experiments in the Neuroendocrinology Lab. The Center was not originally allocated to Arts and Neuroscience. While the Crescent dormitories were being built, the building was slated to become Trinity’s new bookstore.

When President Joanne Berger-Sweeney arrived, she raised questions over the necessity of such a large bookstore on campus, instead advocating for an update of the existing bookstore and a different use of the new space. Upon consultation with faculty and students about various needs on campus, it was decided that the space would be better allocated as an academic building. There were three central needs that were given priority as the most pressing, the first being Neuroscience. As an interdisciplinary major with the most majors of any science department, there was a clear need for an up-to-date facility that housed the Neuroscience offices and laboratories together. The second need was for a new space for the more technology-driven arts on campus. The Arts Department submitted a proposal for a space in the new building, citing that current art spaces were dated and lacked sufficient technology for programs such as Film and Media Studies.

When reached out to for student needs on campus, the Student Government Association (SGA) highlighted a need for more designated quiet spaces for students to do work at other than the library, as well as non-gender bathrooms to add to the inclusivity on campus. All three of these central needs were at the core of the new building design, and three sub-committees were formed to work on these three aspects of the building. Together, with ongoing cooperation between the Arts and Sciences, the sub-committees designed a building that coherently met all of the central needs. The departments are divided, with the Arts Department on the left side and the Neuroscience Department on the right.

The facilities for both departments include classrooms specifically designed to meet their technological needs, including computers and projection equipment specifically for Neuroscience and a similar classroom with art storage space, scanners, and two high-quality photo printers. The Neuroscience section has faculty offices and work spaces, where Neuroscience faculty and student researchers can conduct research and studies related to their concentrations, such as a sound booth for psycholinguistics, a space for autism research, and FMRI research. The Grand Opening of the Crescent Center for Arts and Neuroscience was originally scheduled for Fall 2017, but has been pushed back to Spring 2018. The Art Gallery will be showcasing student work, and the Center will be open to anyone who wants to explore and learn more about the new space.

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