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February 24, 2014

STEM lab opening at CSH this summer

MILLEDGEVILLE —

A cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) analytical training laboratory is scheduled to open for summer programs in June.

Central State Hospital's Wilkes Building will house the facility.

A former Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory director, Darrell Davis, wants Milledgeville to become a hub for STEM. 

Mike Couch, Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority executive director, said during Wednesday's board meeting that Davis “has minimal work to do to make the building accessible to do his programs.”

“We are in the process of raising funds,” Davis said. “We have to apply for equipment and do minor changes to the building to make it a lab.”

Wilkes is undergoing a redesign with subdivided office space and lab facilities.

With help from CSHLRA board member Bruce Vaughn, Wells Fargo donated thousands of dollars worth of furniture to the Wilkes project through the non-profit campus redevelopment authority.

Davis retired from the DEA in August 2012 and approached the CSHLRA representing his Committee for Action Program Services (CAPS) non-profit. CAPS is a science and technology organization that is located in Cedar Hill, Texas. 

The primary objective of the organization is to provide professional development for k-12 science educators and encourage minority students to seek STEM career fields.

Davis started a new for-profit company called CAPS-Analytical Training Laboratory, LLC. He chose Central State to house a CAPS-ATL facility as part of the campus reuse efforts.

Forensics has created a new field of scientific interest. CAPS-ATL could turn research into entrepreneurial opportunities.

From elementary school to college level, insufficient instrumentation access limits national advancement in analytical and forensics fields. CAPS-ATL plans to bridge the gap.

Simple projects introduce children to the STEM world, as Davis desires to bring youngsters and professors from all over the country in for instrumentation access.

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