Biosciences Building Updates

Construction Details

The new, four-story, 158,000-square-foot Biosciences Building will dramatically improve the quality and quantity of instructional learning and scientific research space. It will serve students and faculty in the biological sciences areas, from molecular biology and biochemistry to organismal biology and ecology. ​

The building will house about 40 research-active faculty, their students and support staff, and provide space for classrooms, laboratories and an auditorium.
  • 30 current biology faculty (tenure track and fixed term)
  • 5 or 6 new biology hires in areas of growth
  • 4 or 5 basic foundational science faculty from the College of Medicine engaged in biological research
The building will enhance current research space in Brooks Hall that is inadequate for existing and anticipated growth and research. Over the last decade, undergraduate degrees in biology have increased 210 percent, tenure-track faculty have increased 71 percent and external grant funding increased nearly 10-fold.

Faculty will move from Brooks Hall and the CMU Research Corporation. Brooks Hall will still fill an essential space need for lower-level biology classes. The CMU-RC space eventually will be used to house other CMU faculty or for other SmartZone initiatives.

The Biosciences Building will be located between the Engineering and Technology Building and the Education and Human Services Building, and will replace the remaining four Washington Court Apartment buildings.

Site preparation will begin in the summer of 2014. The $89.4 million facility will open in fall 2017.

The project includes another $5.8 million in related costs, such as those for the demolition of the remaining Washington Court Apartments.

The State of Michigan has allocated $30 million for the building project. The remaining funds will come from CMU internal reserves, contributions and proceeds from the issuance of bonds.

While biosciences buildings consume high levels of energy, in part due to complex ventilation systems, the CMU Biosciences Building will be LEED Silver Certified. The design will balance the safety needs of a science building with energy efficiency, using systems such as solar panels, rain-water capture and enthalpy wheels to transfer heat energy between incoming and outgoing air heat.

The SHW Group, a Michigan-based company, is the lead architectural firm. SHW also designed Central's EHS Building and works solely in the educational arena.

On April 11, 2013 the CMU Board of Trustees approved the construction of the new Biosciences Building - the largest capital project ever for the university.

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