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Queens dedicates new science building tonight

Queens University of Charlotte will take the wraps off its new science facility Thursday evening during dedication ceremonies on campus.

It is part of a big weekend at the school, which includes three commencement exercises.

Student-led tours and remarks from Queens President Pamela Davies and donors Jim Rogers and his wife Mary Anne are part of the Thursday night event, which is set for 6:30 p.m. and is closed to the public.

The James E. and Mary Anne Rogers Science and Health Building came with an $18 million price tag, and $4.1 million was donated by Duke Energy CEO Rogers and his wife. The science facility, on the northeast side of the campus, has received a high-level Platinum LEED (energy-efficiency) rating.

Its hardwood floors came from trees on the Queens campus and it includes a number of innovative features:

-- Crowder Green Wall, a “living” green wall on the south side of the building, planted with more than a dozen non-invasive plants in the pattern of a DNA strand.

-- A rooftop greenhouse, controlled by computers to maintain constant temperature, humidity and light levels.

-- 200 solar panels on the roof of a nearby building, providing about 20 percent of the science building’s powers.

-- Two underground storm water cisterns that collect all the rain water falling on Queens’ 25-acre campus, drastically reducing the university’s reliance on city water and a local aquifer.

Commencement exercises began Thursday afternoon, when students in the nursing program received degrees.

Students in the adult and graduate programs will receive diplomas in a 7 p.m. ceremony Friday, and the traditional undergraduate commencement exercise is set for 10 a.m. Saturday.

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