Construction of the new Biosciences Building will begin this summer and is estimated to be completed by December 2016.
Steve Lawrence, vice president for Facilities Management, said he is excited for the new research-intensive building.
“None of us have ever worked on a research facility of this magnitude,” he said.
The estimated $95 million facility, which will be slightly larger than the Education and Human Services Building, will be one of the largest academic buildings on campus.
“The Biosciences Building is a very exciting project that will greatly improve teaching and research in the biological sciences,” said Jane Matty, associate dean of the College of Science and Technology, in an email.
The new building, which will be largely dedicated to research, will help make education easier for both professors and students.
“Students who are biology majors will benefit greatly from the improved classrooms and laboratories,” Matty said. “The classrooms will facilitate modern teaching methods and provide students with experience with state-of-the-art labs and equipment.”
The remaining Washington Apartments located behind the EHS Building will be torn down in June to make room for the building. Once that space is cleared out, construction will begin in July.
Originally proposed in 2002, the project was approved by the Board of Trustees last April. In 2007, it was moved to the university’s first priority.
The Biosciences Building will feature teaching labs, a large lecture hall, faculty offices, an active learning classroom, a vivarium used to raise animals, a herbarium for plants and many other bioscience resources.
Due to flooding concerns, there will be no basement in the building. Instead, mechanical and electrical equipment usually kept in the basement will be housed on the first floor.
Lawrence says there will be lounge-type areas as well, where students, teachers and visitors can relax or do homework.
“There will be lots of space for students to be involved and be near the faculty,” Lawrence said.
Although bioscience classes will still be held in Brooks, the new building will serve as an extension of Brooks Hall.
“Brooks Hall, which currently houses the biology department, was constructed as a science classroom building 50 years ago,” Matty said. “Both CMU and the sciences have changed greatly since then. The new building will provide the modern facilities and technology needed for effective 21st century education and research in biological sciences.”
The building will also join a handful of other facilities on campus to receive certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.