The opening ceremony of the newly renovated laboratory for Undergraduate studies of the department of Zoology and Environmental Science was held on the 18th September 2017. The occasion commenced at 9.30 am. Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, Professor Lakshaman Dissanayake graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Dean Faculty of Science Prof Ranjith Mahanama, Head of department of Zoology and Environment Science Professor Wipula Yapa too participated in the occasion. Professor Sarath Kotagama and Professor W.D Rathnasooriya graced the occasion as emeritus professors of the department.
University of Colombo definitely has some of the most impressive and iconic university buildings in Sri Lanka. Established back in 1942 by the State Council as University of Ceylon, this university is not only incredibly beautiful, it’s also one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Asia. It offers a rich historic atmosphere and stunning historic architecture that is difficult to be compared. The newly renovated laboratory holds its prestige as the oldest laboratory in the University system of Sri Lanka.
The laboratory serves its purpose as a multipurpose laboratory for undergraduate studies. It comprises of three main components. A research laboratory for Global Climate Change, a research laboratory for Environmental Science and a seminar room equipped with multimedia facilities. The laboratory is expected to serve high standards and quality. Avant Guard Engineering is behind the re-engineering and construction of the building. All feasible steps are being taken to preserve the historical structure and outlook of the original building.
Professor Lakshaman Dissanayake Vice Chancellor of University of Colombo who highly believes in providing better and quality education to undergraduates pointed out the need for broadening of facilitates provided by the university and expanding its horizons. He spoke of a few developmental measures that are currently undertaken under his leadership including plans on construction of a new agricultural faculty.
Professor Ranjith Mahanama, Dean Faculty of Science who is highly dedicated to serving the best facilities to students spoke of the necessity of new facilities and laboratories and briefly mentioned about expected plans to broaden the scope of the faculty of Science. Professor Wipula Yapa who was the gigantic shadow behind the renovation of the new laboratory thanked the academic and non-academic staff of the department of Zoology and Environmental Science. He conveyed his special thanks to Vice Chancellor, Professor Lakshaman Diaanayake for his unwavering support.
In his speech, Professor Sarath Kotagama enlightened the audience on the history of University of Colombo as an academia with a rich knowledge on the history of the University. He held an unbiased view on re-engineering of old buildings, while pointing out that it’s necessary to gain the optimal value of space while persevering historical buildings with advanced technology owing to the fact that University of Colombo is situated in the heart of Colombo . He mentioned an interesting story of a Nuga Tree (Ficus benghalensis) that served as the Magul tree of the faculty which was later being put down to build the current main building of the Zoology department and revealed the history of the current Nuga Tree in front of the open canteen to have risen from the historical Magul tree from the scaffoldings of the deconstructed building. He attempted to point out the unspoken bonds that tie ourselves to the voiceless buildings and iconic trees in the University.
The atmosphere of a university can add to students’ motivation and inspire them to achieve academic excellence. There is something about the spirit of these places that just encourages students to want more and to work harder to achieve it. The student body of Faculty of Science wish to convey their sincere gratitude to all staff members who strive hard to ensure quality higher education.