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UMass Boston Integrated Sciences Complex Officially Opens for Classes

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A student enters the newly finished Integrated Sciences Complex. 

The Integrated Sciences Complex (ISC) building officially opens for classes this spring semester. According to University of Massachusetts Boston Manager of Master Plan and Construction Communications Holly Sutherland, all introductory Biology labs will be taught in the new building.
“The new freshman labs are much better equipped and arranged,” observed Associate Professor of Biology Brian White. He believes high-tech equipment and labs will help to enhance the quality of education. “They will facilitate improved instruction for the freshman biology courses.”
This top-notch science building includes wet and dry research laboratories, support space, undergraduate biology teaching labs, an infant cognition lab, and two new research centers — the Development Sciences Research Center and the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy.
The ISC is the first new academic building on campus in nearly 40 years. Prior to its construction, all the science departments at UMass Boston were spread out between McCormack Hall, Wheatley Building, and the previous science building.
Now that all the science departments are in one place, cooperation among students, faculty, and staff is much easier. “This building will, for sure, make it easier for collaboration between different science fields,” said Amelia Atwood who is a Researcher for School for the Environment.
The ISC is adjacent to the Quinn Administration Building and the Healey Library. Sutherland explained that people can access the new building by going one floor down at the intersection of Quinn and Healey’s catwalk. 
“People will see the arrow of direction to the catwalk that leads to [the] ISC as soon as they get to the Department of Public Safety,” added Associate Director of Media Relations Crystal Valencia. Public Safety is on the ground level of the Quinn building. 
Due to the ongoing construction of the two-way road system, there will be no bus stop around the ISC, explained Sutherland. Pedestrians approaching the building can walk through the Harbor Walk to access the complex. 
The $155 million, 220,000 square-foot complex is designed by Boston-based architectural firm Goody Clancy and is being built by Walsh Brothers. The project is managed by the commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance. 
The first floor houses the physics labs, which are designed for theoretical and experimental physics and engineering research, and also the Sandbox lab, which is a lab space for undergraduate students in STEM fields.
There is also a café and a conference room to serve as meeting points for students, faculty, and staff, but neither the café nor the conference room is available at the moment.
“There were some last minute changes in the installation of the water system for the café,” Sutherland said. She added that the management is still working on the booking system for the conference room.
“There is part of the building that is still under construction,” said Sutherland.  She said that the management is working diligently to get everything completed as soon as possible. 
On the second floor of the ISC, there are the biology teaching labs and the School for Environment (SFE). “SFE researchers examine everything from contamination in New England oyster beds to policy on climate change in the Horn of Africa,” as written in a UMass Boston brochure titled “Changing the Innovation Landscape”. 
The third floor contains the biology labs that are designed for ecological research, climate change study, and DNA sequencing.  There are the chemistry labs.
In addition to the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy on the fourth floor, there are the psychology labs, which are designed for behavioral and observational testing, along with the UMass Boston Baby Lab.
The fifth floor houses the biology labs for research in plant biochemistry, genetics, and pathogen ecology. Furthermore, there are the psychology labs for developmental and brain sciences.
The title “Integrated Sciences Complex” is representative of a coming together of the sciences in the academic field today. Equipped with first-class labs and research tools, the ISC is intended to be state-of-the-art innovation in modern science. 
The Integrated Sciences Complex is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.