Vulcan Science Academy
Before Surak, a huge fortress overlooked the oasis at ShirKahr on Vulcan, built and rebuilt by each clan that captured it. When the Age of Awakening began two thousand years ago, Surak changed the fort's purpose from one of war to one of learning. With his adepts he continued the teaching of logic to those who wished to learn more about the concept. Vulcan education has always been very centered on the relationship between student and pyllora, a term which translates to "mentor" or "guide." Thus it was a relatively simple matter to transfer the center of ShirKahr's education from the old temples of learning to Surak's new agora. From there more and more came to learn, not only about Tu-Surak, but about other subjects as well. Surak encouraged this while he lived, wanting his fellow Vulcans to devote their full energies to understanding the universe and its infinite possibilities; it was here that the very concept of IDIC was born.
With IDIC as its madate, the Vulcan Science Academy grew to study literally everything imaginable. Today it is considered one of the top research institutes in the Federation. Brilliant professors from other parts of the Federation come to the VSA to learn or teach in a variety of areas, including the hard sciences, engineering, computer sciences, philosophy, and medicine. Today the campus has expanded far outside the walls of the former fort that once housed it. Like other parts of ShirKahr, the campus now contains a mixture of old and new architecture.
Most of the old architecture can be found in and around the fort, which now houses the majority of the administrative offices and lecture halls of the Academy. Beyond this central core, clusters of labs, research buildings, and staff housing occupy ancient temples and newly built facilities alike, with each cluster devoted to a specific field of study.
Closest to the government quarter are two large clusters of modern buildings containing the medical center and computer research center, both open to the general public. The Academy Medical Center serves as the main hospital for the city, but performs medical research as well. Beyond these areas, one must request permission to visit any other area of the Academy, but it is not hard to gain approvals. One may also visit the Academy when a public lecture is being offered (which is quite often). Those who do get a chance to enter the administrative buildings in the old fort will see a beautiful garden laid out around the spring the fort once defended.