A ceremonial groundbreaking was held for the Tom Apodaca Science Building at Western Carolina University (WCU). The new building will replace the old Natural Sciences Building, which was built in the 1970s and is too small and outdated to satisfy the demand for and scope of today’s science programs. Architectural renderings portray a sweeping, modern, steel and glass structure marked by high ceilings and open floor plans. Invited guests included Apodaca and other legislators, various WCU officials, University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings, and UNC Board of Governors Chair Lou Bissette. The $110 million project is funded out of $2 billion in Connect-NC bonds approved by voters in 2016 to upgrade infrastructure in the UNC system’s seventeen campuses. Apodaca, a former state legislator who advocated strongly for the bonds as chair of the Senate Rules Committee, was a former WCU trustee and a graduate of the school, having earned a B.S. degree in business administration. Designs were completed in 2017, as well as site preparation that included running higher-capacity water lines for code compliance. Construction is expected to begin in August and run through 2021, after which the old science building will be demolished.