DALLAS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Misericordia University broke ground on a new building Wednesday morning. It honors a prominent family in Luzerne County and will be the largest building on campus when it is completed.
This was a very big moment for Marjorie Henry Marquart and her family -- the groundbreaking for Misericordia's newest building. It's a science center to be named after her parents Frank M. and Dorothea Henry.
"My parents are passionate about education. They're passionate about health care. They're passionate about so many things, mostly just to help others, help their community and make a difference in the world. We're all here to make a difference in everyone's world and that's what they're passionate about," said Marjorie Henry Marquart.
The university's current science center is in need of an upgrade.
"We have antiquated facilities that were built in the 1950s for a campus of about 800 students. We're now about 2,600 students, and we need the space. We need the modern facilities. We need the equipment in order to really meet the needs of our students and prepare them well to go out into the world," said David Rehm, vice president of academic affairs at Misericordia University.
The new science center will be built first, and then it will eventually be connected to the existing science center, making it the largest building on Misericordia's campus.
"50 years ago, teaching was all about 'stand and deliver.' Now we're talking about interaction. We're talking about small classes. We're talking about lots of hands-on work and labs. The new building will allow that in a way that our original building just wasn't designed for," said Rehm.
Students say the new building will better prepare them for careers in the science field.
"With the new equipment and everything, it'll give us better experiences and we'll get to work with new techniques and more up-to-date equipment in general. So that will better prepare us for when we get out there," said student Sarah Reeder.
The new science building will cost about $45 million. The first phase of it is expected to be completed in the fall of next year.