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One year after unveiling renovations, an inside look of Artis College at Radford University

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 5:42 PM EST
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford University’s newly-renovated science building has been open for nearly a year, but the work being done inside has not been seen until now.

It’s all a part of a $33 million renovation to Reed and Curie Halls, which reopened in 2020. The halls are home to the Artis College of Science and Technology.

Inside are state-of-the-art labs, equipment and maker spaces – most of which were included in the renovations.

“We still had all of the technology we needed but not quite as updated as it is now,” said Sydney Lobins, a senior student in the FAA test prep class at Radford University.

“I’ve learned a lot in the past two semesters, even with COVID,” said Cassandra Wiggins, a senior student in the FAA test prep class.

Students like Cassandra and Sydney say there is more space in classrooms and it gives them an opportunity to learn in new ways.

The students get to learn on the ground and can take their lessons to the sky using drones.

Many of the drones and tech are a part of the Geohazards and Unmanned Systems Research Center.

“We focus on studying the Earth’s past, in order to understand better the present and the future with respect to geology and the impact geology has on humans,” said Dr. Chester “Skip” Watts, the director of the Geohazard Research Center at Radford University.

They can create digital maps and use 3D printers to look at the area’s topography to study mudslides, earthquakes and more.

“In order to study the past and look at the geohazards that are going on today,” said Dr. Watts.

Using the basics of flying and map making, they’re able to solve real day-to-day environmental issues.

“We give them real-life, real-life opportunities right there in the thick of it,” said George Stephenson, the chief FAA remote pilot for the Geohazard Research Center at Radford University.

The Geohazards and Unmanned Systems Research program is only one of many programs that live in the building - helping the next generation of engineers and scientists to fly high.

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