New STSS Building opens its doors

The building is the new home of One Stop as well as science classrooms and study areas.

Luke Feuerherm

It’s the still-wet paint and ongoing interior sprucing in the Science Teaching and Student Service Building that accounts for what CLA Career Services advisor Brian Long called the “new car smell” in the building Tuesday.

The building, which opened Tuesday, replacing the demolished Science Classroom Building, sits across Washington Avenue from the Weisman Art Museum and will not only be the home to new alternative learning classrooms but also numerous student services offices including One Stop, Veterans Services and the financial aid office.

The building has five stories, three of which are above ground, and offers a sprawling view of the West Bank over the Mississippi River.

“Even if you don’t need any help, just come here and look,” said political science junior and CLA Career Services employee Mariam Mahmood, looking from her desk to the view of the Minneapolis skyline rising above the riverbanks. “I mean, this is Minnesota.”

While the long corridors, filled with a medley of student service offices, high-tech classrooms and common study spaces may take time to get used to, many see the STSS Building as a welcome departure from gloomy buildings like Johnston and Appleby halls.

“We’re not used to seeing sunlight or what the weather is like,” academic advisor Jen Endres said. “We used to rely on the students to tell us if there was a tornado or something outside.”

Natural light is, in fact, an abundant feature in the building, not only from the floor-to-ceiling windows on its coliseum side but also from slits cut from the brick facade.

This light, along with the panoramic view of the river, stands in contrast to the technology-laden interior, complete with classrooms closer resembling computer labs.

Classes will begin in the labs as well as in the building’s two traditional lecture halls this September.

Until then, “there’s little odds and ends going on,” project manager Chuck McNabney said. “We still have to bring in the Coke machines.”

On Aug. 24, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the STSS Building to mark its opening.