The interior of Central Michigan University's Biosciences Building – scheduled for completion in September 2016 – is coming together as spring approaches. From the ground up, the new building will shine a spotlight on faculty and student research.
"In the end we wanted a functional space that puts science on display," Andy Reihl, project manager, said. "From almost every part of the building you can see into the labs where students and faculty will be hands-on with their research."
A look into the building's 170,000-square-foot interior reveals:
- Active learning classroom with capacity for 112 students
- Large flexible-use space on first floor with seating capacity for 200+
- 106 lab benches and additional 47 specialty lab rooms
- Instructional labs with associated prep labs
- Numerous student study, collaboration and meeting spaces throughout the building
- 65 faculty and staff offices
Natural science on display
Numerous windows on the north and south sides of the building allow light to flow into the facility, highlighting other natural features on the interior. Each floor and several structural pillars throughout are exposed to highlight the concrete framework at the heart of the building. The completed interior also will feature natural wood paneling balanced between the concrete pillars. These products were considered in the planning phase to highlight natural building materials to complement the biosciences, says Reihl.
"We purposely incorporated materials from nature, like the green roof," Reihl said. "Researchers will be surrounded, as much as possible, by natural products."
The design team consulted faculty regarding their needs and other research accommodations long before ground was broken. Preplanning was a critical part of the development of the building, and many of the open spaces are flexible and adaptable for for ever-changing research needs.
The $95 million Biosciences Building is the largest capital project in CMU's history. The CMU Board of Trustees approved construction in April 2013. The State of Michigan allocated $30 million for the project, and the remaining funds are coming from CMU internal reserves, contributions and proceeds from the issuance of bonds. Classes in the facility will start in January 2017.