Lake Ridge Academy held a ground breaking ceremony for its new Kemper Science and Engineering building on May 20. The 8,000 square foot facility will be completed in Spring 2016.
Over one hundred people attended the private ceremony, including building donors, parents, faculty, and staff. During the celebratory event, architectural renderings and 3-D views of the new facility were unveiled to the community. Remarks were made by several community members, including North Ridgeville Mayor G. David Gillock, who commented that the new facility “will provide a strong educational foundation for future careers in science, engineering and medicine which are desperately needed in today’s job market”.
The modern, state-of-the-art facility will further support Lake Ridge Academy’s position as a leader in science and engineering education. In 2013, the school launched the Center for Scientific Exploration and Research, a Kindergarten through Grade 12 academic program that delivers a STEAM curriculum to best prepare students for college study and future careers in medicine, engineering and environmental science. Lake Ridge Academy President Carol Klimas said, “This building will be the first new facility on our campus in 15 years. It will give our students and teachers a place where they know they are doing distinctive things in science and engineering, while setting our academic program apart”.
Kemper Science and Engineering will offer a variety of learning spaces to accommodate students of all ages to explore science and engineering through hands-on experiences and experimentation. “The opportunities that this building will offer the students will be second to none, and the science that we will explore and discover together will be priceless”, stated Betsy Glor, Lake Ridge Academy Science Department Chair and Chemistry Teacher.
The 1,700 square foot engineering laboratory, dubbed the “Fab Lab”, is a very unique and cutting-edge concept in secondary education. The lab will offer advanced equipment typically seen in college-level education facilities, including several 3D printers, computer workstations, laser and vinyl cutters, and a computer-automated router. The technology will provide students of all ages to be part of the growing maker’s movement, encouraging students to design, create and tinker as part of their science, engineering, computer and fine arts courses.
The 1,400 square foot chemistry laboratory, designed as a “clab” space, blends a traditional classroom lecture area with the laboratory which is a collaborative design trend often seen in college research laboratories. Students will have access to three fume hoods large enough for demonstrations.
The 600 square foot research laboratory is a dedicated lab space for Upper School students in the Institute for Scientific Research, a certificate program for those seeking to further devote their coursework in research. These students, or “fellows”, conduct two-year original research projects of their own choice, resulting in a formal research paper and defense to a faculty panel. The program currently has five students, but will be expanding to twelve students next year.
A 1,200 square foot greenhouse will be an active living classroom used by all ages on campus to study and conduct biology and botany experiments. A spacious multi-purpose room will offer flexible space where students can build projects, test inventions, participate in demonstrations and watch their ideas come to life.
The Kemper Science and Engineering building was fully funded by donations from the school’s generous community of parents, grandparents, alumni, faculty and staff. John and Betty Kemper’s significant naming gift secured the building’s potential for construction and was inspired by the couple’s long history with the school. Their five children attended the school, both have served on the Board of Directors, for which John is a past president, and now their grandchildren will enjoy the new facility as students. “We are proud that this building will serve as a family legacy for our longstanding love of Lake Ridge Academy that began in the school’s earliest days”, said Betty Kemper.
About Lake Ridge Academy Lake Ridge Academy is an independent, nonsectarian day school offering co-educational classes from kindergarten through grade 12. Founded in 1963, Lake Ridge Academy is committed to providing small class sizes and maintains an 8:1 student to teacher ratio. Located on a beautiful 88 acre campus in North Ridgeville, Ohio, Lake Ridge Academy is the only K-12 private college preparatory school on Cleveland’s west side.