Eckerd College celebrated the grand opening of its new $25 million science building Thursday.
The James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences will be the new home to the biology and chemistry programs.
The center is named for Tom James, executive chairman of Raymond James Financial, and his wife, Mary, who donated a major portion of the funds needed for the project.
"It gives me great pride, and I'm sure it gives Mary great pride too, to participate in dedicating this new science building for the benefit of today's students and future students, because this is one great institution that only gets better everyday," said James as he addressed those in attendance at the grand opening.
Teachers and students shared the excitement of the potential the new educational center brings.
"One of the key parts that this building is that it gives us a lot of excellent new technology," said Dr. Denise Flaherty, biology professor.
In addition to welcoming the opportunities to teach students in a more sophisticated manner, she says the new pieces of equipment will make a world of difference.
Having a place to do research could result in being successful in life, said Lily Ellis, a biology major who helped with the building's fundraising.
The 55,000 square-foot facility, houses 14 separate laboratories, two large general classrooms, various offices and conference rooms.