Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College breaks ground for new Lynn Science Center

Lycoming College celebrated the groundbreaking for its new Lynn Science Center on June 18. The three-level, 26,000-square-foot facility will connect to the north end of the existing Heim Biology and Chemistry Building and will include a planetarium, classrooms, research and teaching labs, computer labs, faculty offices, student lounges and an atrium. Board chair Peter Lynn ’69 and his wife, Joyce, have made the leadership gift for the facility, which is expected to open for the 2015 fall semester.

Lynn Science Center groundbreaking

“This is a very exciting day for my wife, Joyce, and me,” Lynn said. “We both believe strongly in the value of a liberal arts education. We are especially interested in education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Therefore, we are honored to be able to provide support for the construction of the new science building for the students of Lycoming College.”

Lycoming President Kent Trachte said the groundbreaking represents a historic day in the life of the college as the Lynn Science Center will be the first major academic building constructed on campus since the opening of Heim in 1990.

In addition to thanking the Lynns, Trachte recognized the support of the board of trustees and the efforts of president emeritus James Douthat, who played a major role in conceptualizing the center before retiring in 2013. Trustees Jay Cleveland Sr. and Jay Cleveland Jr. ’88 and their wives, Sandy and Mary, were acknowledged for making a major gift that would be recognized with the naming of the Cleveland Atrium, a two-story indoor space.

Lynn Science CenterThe center will bring all of the college’s science departments – astronomy, biology, chemistry and physics – under one roof. The physical proximity of the sciences will foster increased interdisciplinary collaboration, interaction and research. When combined with Heim, the Lynn Science Center will provide Lycoming’s faculty and students with nearly 90,000 square-feet of space for teaching and learning. A focal point of the center will be the new Detwiler Planetarium, which Trachte described as a “world-class visual learning center.” The new 35-foot-wide domed planetarium will use a digital projection system to recreate the night sky and astronomical bodies.

“Lycoming students will study not only astronomy, but geology and many other disciplines,” Trachte said. “The computer-generated images on the screen will bring to life the scientific concepts explored in lectures and readings.”

This new interactive and multi-curricular facility will not only serve Lycoming’s students and faculty, but also benefit the greater Williamsport community as the college is developing learning and discovery programs in collaboration with the area’s school districts.

Additional features of the Lynn Science Center include an exterior courtyard and a campus plaza at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Mulberry St., which will welcome students and visitors alike as they approach the building from the north.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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