WEST BURLINGTON — Southeastern Community College will celebrate the completion of the John H. Witte Jr. Hall of Sciences at 4 p.m. Sept. 27 with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at its West Burlington campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

“Our students continue to be our focus as we aim to offer everything we can,” SCC President Michael Ash said. “This facility provides the latest technology available to faculty and students so they have the tools to take their educational journey further than they ever could before.”

Construction of the $6.35 million building began in March 2017.

It houses chemistry, physics, biology, physiology and microbiology labs, four lecture classrooms, six offices, a STEM classroom, a combination library and workstation and several student and faculty collaboration spaces — something science instructors have been lacking with their classrooms scattered throughout the campus.

“We kept student learning in mind every step of the way during the development of the Hall of Sciences, and the result is outstanding,” Ash said. “We’re eager to show the community the quality of education that is available right here in our backyard.”

A skywalk connects the Hall of Sciences to the neighboring Health Professions Center, which was completed in October 2016. Together, the two make up the Lawrence & Marilyn Matteson Family Health & Science Complex. The Mattesons made substantial contributions toward the college's Building the Dream Campaign, a massive fundraising effort that, in addition to the health and sciences complex, has made possible the Industrial Technology Training Center in Keokuk and the Blackhawk Tower residence hall.

Ash cited a 2018 report by the Iowa Board of Regents that indicates SCC students who transfer to regent universities perform better and are more likely to remain at the universities than the average transfer student from other Iowa community colleges.

“Statistics show that our students perform at an outstanding level and are prepared when they advance their education. We have our faculty to thank for that,” Ash said. “Now, with this new facility, they will be even better prepared.”

With that success in mind, Dr. Ash looks forward to further enhancing the student experience as the college guides transfer students toward their next step, as well as ensuring students on the career track are ready for the workforce.