'Lehigh' Lights Up the Night

New Health, Science and Technology building is illuminated for the first time.

Story by

Christina Tatu

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Alan Sylvestre

Like a beacon over South Bethlehem, “Lehigh” lit up the night Thursday when the university’s name, emblazoned atop the new Health, Science and Technology building, was illuminated for the first time.

It’s a sign of things to come as the university prepares to open its new state-of-the-art collaborative research facility next month. The HST building will serve as the new home for the College of Health and will dramatically increase Lehigh’s capacity for interdisciplinary research.

The sign lighting was timed to coincide with Lehigh’s first-ever Farrington Square Light Up the Night event, at which students got free hot cocoa and cookies. The sign was switched on at the same time as colorful Christmas lights strung on the trees in Farrington Square. 

Clutch the Mountain Hawk mascot flipped the switch, cheered on by the crowd of students, faculty and alumni.

Clutch

Clutch, Lehigh's Mountain Hawk mascot, greets students during the Farrington Square Light Up the Night event.

“It’s a really warm environment and everyone seems really happy,” said Finnigan Tarbox ’25, who was among the crowd of students taking in the festivities. 

“It’s beautifully lit,” said Neha Mandhyani who graduated in May. Farrington Square now caps off the row of twinkling lights that stretches down New Street to the Phillip J. Fahy Memorial Bridge, she said. 

But the most prominent light of all was the Lehigh sign at HST, which in addition to being a world-class research facility is also a gateway between Lehigh and Bethlehem’s Southside community. The letters can be seen from vantage points across the citya reminder of Lehigh’s connection to  the community.

HST will offer flexible space for faculty from a variety of disciplines to focus on biohealth and energy. The building features shared labs and meeting spaces, with many rooms separated only by glass walls, inviting collaboration and interdisciplinary research.

HST

The sign on Lehigh's Health, Science and Technology building was lit up for the first time Thursday.

The university broke ground on the HST building in October 2019 and plans to open the facility in January for the start of the Spring 2022 semester. At 190,000 square feet, it’s the largest building that Lehigh has ever constructed, containing 36,000 square feet of lab and lab support space with potential room to grow.

A pedestrian bridge over Asa Drive will connect HST to the courtyard serving Seeley-Mudd, Sinclair and Whitaker labs, creating a hub of research activity. What sets HST apart from those buildings is the large open-concept floor plan and shared wet, damp and dry labs.

It’s also the first academic building on Lehigh’s campus with doors facing the community and entrances onto Morton Street at both Webster and Adams streets.

Among HST’s key spaces is the Core Data Visualization (Viz) Lab, a shared space on the basement level that will include two research labs and a research commons. The lab will provide researchers with the ability to access, analyze and visualize massive amounts of data.

Researchers will also be able to utilize the lab’s virtual and augmented reality capabilities. Lehigh’s world-class electron microscopy and surface characterization tools will also be located on the basement level.

The floor above includes the community health room, open shared lab space, student desks and faculty offices. Another level up is the College of Health administrative suite and a café with a shaded outdoor terrace. A forum with tall ceilings and moveable walls will allow for larger gatherings, lectures, receptions and other events.

The next level up will feature the pedestrian bridge and more faculty offices and shared lab space. 

This was the first year Lehigh hosted Light Up the Night in Farrington Square. The event was sponsored by University Business Services and the LU Bookstore with the cookies and cocoa donated by Dining Services. 

The lights in Farrington Square will remain lit for the rest of the month, while the new HST sign will be permanently on. 

“We hoped to bring the campus together for a safe and fun event and to add a little cheer. Based on the turnout, we hope to make it an annual event,” said Monika Skuriat Fritz, director of retail partnerships and marketing at Lehigh.

Story by

Christina Tatu

Photography by

Christa Neu

Videography by

Alan Sylvestre

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