The planning of a combined building for the university’s energy, environment and experiential learning programs is several months underway, and already the process is benefiting students.
Over the summer, Erin Broda and Michael Magnan, both U of C architecture students, and Jayson Hood, an architectural intern, worked with U of C architect Jane Pendergast to evaluate sites for the new building. The building will be built off 32nd Avenue, behind the Earth Science building. The combined building will create space for 1,000 new students in high-demand energy and environment programs, as well as new undergraduate biology and chemistry laboratories.
“Approximately one in five U of C students use these laboratories to acquire important, hands-on inquiry skills,” says Mike Boorman, program manager for the new building. “Those students go on to study science, engineering, medicine, nursing and nutrition, and then on to important careers that are in high demand. But this facility will not serve just those students. It will also create social and meeting spaces that are available to students all across campus.”
The building will also house some of the research programs connected to the university’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy. It will be built to high environmental construction standards.
This summer, architecture students studied traffic patterns, pedestrian flow and goods movement to come up with a site recommendation that meets the building’s infrastructure needs and integates into the university’s overall campus plan.
“It’s definitely a large, big-picture project we wouldn’t otherwise get,” says Broda, who has worked on small projects as a student at various architectural firms. The building is expected to open in 2010.