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Opinion: University justified in replacing Clippinger Laboratories


By Austin Linfante

Clippinger Laboratories houses the departments of physics and astronomy, chemistry and biochemistry, geography, and geological science. Photo by Austin Linfante.

Clippinger Laboratories houses the departments of physics and astronomy, chemistry and biochemistry, geography, and geological science. Photo by Austin Linfante.

Every time I spend time in Clippinger Laboratories for my once-a-week history discussion, I become more and more certain that Ohio University’s decision to close it was absolutely right.

Plans announced in September 2013 stated that Clippinger would be demolished by 2020. It would be taken down after the construction of a new science building: the Interdisciplinary Science Facility.

The 49-year-old building, despite being renovated as late as last year, still shows its age and then some. Water fountains grow icicles in the cold weather. There’s a leather sign in front of the computer lab that says “COMPUTER GRAPHICS LAB.” Most of the outside cement looks so dirty that one power wash would not even come close to cleaning it.

Some may argue that moving all of the heavy science equipment would be cumbersome, especially with scientists who do not want their machines moved even to the other side of the room. However, given the age of some of the equipment that both the students and professors use, an upgrade in both building and equipment will be worth it. Just one major move should not jeopardize any experiments or projects – especially if the future Interdisciplinary Science Facility is on West Green near Stocker Center and the medical buildings, where others can have easy and collaborative access to the equipment.

Also debatable is what to do with the land once the building is removed. May I suggest a replacement of the graduate student apartments that were demolished to construct the new South Green dorms?

I admit that I will miss Clippinger if only for how the golden sun peaks out through the windows in the morning. However, when the building is so bad that it is only second to Scripps Hall

, in my opinion, a hall that is being vacated by the end of this semester, for the worst quality academic hall, a change is needed. I am certain that no matter what the Interdisciplinary Science Facility looks like, it will be a gigantic improvement over what Clippinger is now.

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