Doors Open to New Acklie Hall of Science

Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science
Acklie Hall of Science
Chemistry students use a lab for the first time in Acklie Hall.
Students unpack items in a biology lab.
Psychology department staff move boxes down the new stairwells of Acklie Hall of Science.
Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science is the new home to NWU's biology, chemistry and psychology departments.
Acklie Hall of Science has a grand view of Old Main. The doors opened for the spring semester on January 14th.
Chemistry students use one of the labs for the first time since the building opened for classes on January 14th.
The campus community spent the week before Christmas moving the biology and chemistry departments from Olin Hall of Science and the psychology department from the Smith-Curtis Administration Building.
Science students help unpack items in a biology lab as part of the move to Acklie Hall of Science.
Psychology department staff move boxes down the new stairwells of Acklie Hall of Science.

Students were welcomed to a new semester on Monday, January 14 with a fresh blanket of snow and a much anticipated new science building.

Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science is the university’s first new academic building in 36 years. The three-story facility of approximately 80,000 square feet includes classrooms, laboratories, student study spaces, faculty offices and a greenhouse. The $29 million project was paid entirely through gifts from generous alumni, friends, corporations and foundations. 

“Of course everyone is ecstatic about the new building,” said Jodi Ryter, professor of chemistry, noting her excitement for the state-of-the-art air handling systems in the chemistry labs and the abundance of windows. 

“The view of Old Main is very grand,” she said. But she’s equally happy about the interior windows between the labs and hallways. “We’re excited to have people walk up and down the corridors and watch science happening in real time.”

While the building houses three academic departments, several classes from a variety of disciplines utlize the Acklie Hall classrooms. The cozy study spaces and common areas are also available to the entire campus including a coffee shop on the second floor located adjacent to an outdoor balcony that looks out to Old Main.

A unique feature in the building is a large wood installation that runs the length of the entire three floors. The wood comes from the trees that were removed to build Acklie Hall of Science.

“When plans for Duane W. Acklie Hall of Science called for removal of 26 trees, we wanted to make certain that it wouldn’t leave a permanent hole in our campus arboretum," said President Fred Ohles. "It’s gratifying to know the trees have new life on campus now in this beautiful wood installation that will be enjoyed by students, faculty, alumni and friends for decades to come.”

A dedication ceremony for Acklie Hall of Science will be held on Wednesday, May 1 at 4 p.m.