The Mars Center for Science and Technology provides enhanced facilities for research and study in the sciences, and also encourages interdisciplinary and connected scholarship across the disciplines.  The facility includes community spaces such as study lounges and cafés as well as cross-disciplinary labs. The design also reflects the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

Distinctive features of the Mars Center

Scientific research is on display thanks to a project design that makes extensive use of large, interior glass partitions to promote visibility for student and faculty work.

Sustainability was built in to the design from the start with the goal of achieving LEED certification.

Interdisciplinary research facilitates by specially designed multi-use labs that encourage collaboration among students and faculty working in different disciplines.

Public meeting and study spots (from conference rooms to a café) promote collaboration, community and a sense of vitality.

Room for growth was designed into the center, which includes five classrooms outfitted for transformation into research labs as the college’s science programs grow.

Flexibility was designed into the project’s teaching labs to create a more efficient building and to encourage multiple uses

The observatory for Wheaton’s astronomy program has a new home on the roof of the center, providing a better vantage point for observation of the night skies.

The college greenhouse was relocated to the new facility and be better positioned in terms of exposure to sunlight.


The design for the Mars Center for Science and Technology seeks to realize the following goals

Connections. Research labs, classrooms, faculty offices and common areas organized in a design that will make science visible. The facility should embody the concepts of Wheaton’s unique Connections curriculum, ensuring that the new facility serves all students.

Community. Public spaces such as an open cafe and numerous study and conference rooms, encourage students and faculty to use the facility in ways that extend well beyond scheduled class and lab times.

Sustainability. The use of state-of-the-art environmental conservation and sustainable building design practices will limit the impact of the construction process, reduce facility’s ecological footprint and result in a building that is more efficient to operate.

Flexibility. Science and technology changes swiftly and the building has been designed to evolve with the rapid pace of change, accommodating exciting new areas of study and modes of learning for students today and tomorrow.

Project leadership and management

Steering Committee:

  • Linda Eisenmann, provost
  • James Karman, trustee and vice chairman, Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Tommy Ratliff, professor of mathematics and faculty coordinator

Architects: EYP Architecture & Engineering

Owners representative: The Rise Group