Science Classroom Complex to bring synergy between academics and research

Diane Arias/Asst. News Director

The Academic Health Center 4, or the Science Classroom Complex, is the new building between PG5 and the Red Garage. The building will be used for academics and research among the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Research and the College of Medicine.

“This [building] brings in various disciplines, various colleges, academics, research and together, they all mix—the unclean and the unholy so to speak—they will all mix together and hopefully cross fertilize each other and provide synergies for the academic and research experiences,” said John Cal, associate vice president of Facilities Management.

In total, the building will house five functional floors with a mechanical penthouse on the rooftop, which is where all of the mechanical equipment will be stored, according to Cal.

One side of the first floor will be a large classroom auditorium that will seat approximately 145 people, 12 breakout seminar rooms, a large entry and lobby area and a large breezeway and plaza.

“We’re going to be having a large classroom, student small group session rooms and faculty offices so it’s a very important building for us,” said John Rock, dean of the College of Medicine.

The other side of the first floor will be set apart for scientific receiving and holding on the ground floor. This will be a “major upgrade for all [of] our research facilities,” Cal said to Student Media.

Offices and research space will be found in the second, third and fourth floors. The fifth floor will be dedicated to a “state-of-the-art” animal vivarium— an enclosed space used to raise animals for observation and research— that will be “one of the best anywhere in the southeast,” Cal said.

The five-story building will have around the clock capability, meaning that it will have a backup generator and backup air conditioning for the animals in the vivarium in case of a storm.

In addition, the College of Medicine will have a large instructional classroom that will be used for general education during the day and then will be managed by Academic Space Management after 5 p.m., said Jose Rodriguez, the director of Academic Health Center Facilities Planning.

Rodriguez explained a unique feature of the building’s facade.

“The facade has a series of panels that react to the sun’s path,” said Rodriguez. “It is very significant from an environmental perspective just from the treatment of how that facade was handled,” said Rodriguez.

The building will seek a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification after its completion, said Rodriguez.

According to Cal, the total project cost to date is $57.8 million dollars.

The construction was mainly funded by Public Education Capital Outlay funds, according to Cal.

The Department of Research has also “provided some money from their resources for the building.”

Construction began September 2011 and the project’s predicted date of completion is February 2013.

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