Long-awaited renovation

Construction underway on the White Building in early April 2021.

Long-awaited renovation

Material scientists are getting a bright new home in the White Building

The construction underway in the Charles M. White Metallurgy Building, home to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been a long time coming. It was about 10 years ago that a visiting committee recommended updates to a science hub designed for an earlier era.


The wait will have been worth it, promises Jim McGuffin-Cawley, PhD ’84, the former department chair and the Arthur S. Holden Professor of Engineering. A $1.2 million renovation will result in a new entranceway from Case Quad, a state-of-the-art materials science lab, and new spaces for networking and collaboration.


“It’s going to have a completely different look and feel,” said McGuffin-Cawley, who began fundraising for the project a decade ago. “It’s going to just change things for a generation of students.”


Opened in 1961, the White is warren of tight spaces and sharp turns. It includes four serpentine dark rooms designed for imaging equipment seldom used anymore. 


Come fall, when it reopens, students, faculty and visitors will stroll into a bright, glass-walled lobby that showcases a new Materials Teaching Laboratory, not unlike the biomedical engineering lab off the lobby of Wickenden. McGuffin-Cawley hopes a roomy new student lounge will foster more of the faculty-student interaction that is a hallmark of a Case education.


The renovations should be completed in time for fall classes and alumni tours at Homecoming in October. 


Meanwhile, the Department of Materials Sciences is seeking to raise funds to furnish the lab with modern materials science equipment, including a tabletop scanning electron microscope, an X-ray diffractometer and a thermal-analysis system. 


To learn more about how to help, click HERE and choose “Materials Science.” 


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“It’s going to have a completely different look and feel. It’s going to just change things for a generation of students.”

— Jim McGuffin-Cawley, PhD ’84

Help support this project by making a gift to the Case Fund.