Dr. Don Colborn, a biology professor at Hannibal-LaGrange University, remembered looking up through a hole in the ceiling after a May 2013 storm ripped the roof off a then-outdated science facility on the campus. It was by God's providence that two and a half years later, the university would stand in a new science building, Colborn said.

Dr. Don Colborn, a biology professor at Hannibal-LaGrange University, remembered looking up through a hole in the ceiling after a May 2013 storm ripped the roof off a then-outdated science facility on the campus. It was by God's providence that two and a half years later, the university would stand in a new science building, Colborn said.

As Colborn spoke on Friday, Oct. 16, the roof was on the new Carroll Science Center, but the walls were practically bursting with the dozens of people gathered to dedicate the newest HLGU facility.

Among them was Rheyma Carroll, the building's namesake along with her late husband Kenneth. She cut the ribbon on the new facility with other major supporters and members of the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce.

A plaque in the building's lobby reads, “With their lead gift, the Carrolls have helped to make this science center possible, thus enhancing the educational experience for HLGU students and equipping them for the future.”

The building has double the biology labs as the previous facility and also holds the Craigmiles School of Nursing. Bill and Wendy Craigmiles also attended the dedication.

HLGU President Dr. Anthony Allen called the new facility a “primary driving force in providing education in the medical sciences in the area.”

The 40,000 square foot, $7 million building houses a 58-seat computer lab/classroom, five science labs, two nursing skills labs, two nursing lab hospital rooms, a nursing library, nine multimedia classrooms, a spacious lobby, five student lounges, two conference rooms, two group study rooms, two individual study rooms, and 20 faculty offices. More than 500 individual gifts helped to fund the building.

Bleigh Construction was the contractor on the project with Klingner Architects also working on the project.

HLGU President Dr. Anthony Allen praised the “spirit of cooperation” by staff and students as the almost two and a half year project came to an end. Following the May 2013 storm and throughout the duration of the building, science professors taught in modular units on the campus.

He remembered coming to HLGU and seeking out a flu shot. Nursing students “lined up” to administer the shot, but didn't have contemporary facilities in which to advance their studies.

Allen and Anne Riggs, Director of the Nursing Program, celebrated the new facility's capability of advancing nursing studies for students.

“The culmination of this journey is the result of the dedication to advance the future of healthcare in the area,” Riggs said as she addressed the crowd.

Construction began with a ground breaking on Nov. 22, 2013. HLGU announced it had received a $400,000 Mabee grant to help fund the building.

Reach editor Eric Dundon at eric.dundon@courierpost.com .