The final phase of a two-phase project to create a new Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (I-STEM) Research Complex at the University of Georgia was completed in August 2022. The STEM students of UGA are now in their second semester of utilizing the state-of-the-art I-STEM Research Building 2.
The building joins the I-STEM Research Building 1 to complete the new research complex. Construction began on the first phase of the project in 2018 and took just over three years to complete. In total, the new complex will add more than 200,000 square feet of space for both research and instruction. Here’s some more information about this innovative research complex:
The Overall Project
The two-phase project, which took years of planning and construction, cost a total of $143.6 million. The project was funded by a combination of state bonds and institutional funds. Construction of the second building began in December 2020 while the first phase was still under construction.
The first building opened on Nov. 30, 2021, while the ceremonial ribbon cutting for building 2 took place on Aug. 24, 2022. The complex replaces the previous chemistry building, which dated back nearly 50 years and was no longer able to adequately host the kind of research and instruction going on inside. Turner Construction Company oversaw the construction work.
The new buildings are not the only upgrades happening in the world of University of Georgia science. The university is also working on modernizing existing facilities on the South Campus, such as the original Chemistry Building and the Biological Sciences Building. The overall goal is to support a growing research enterprise at the university by enhancing collaboration among engineering and chemistry researchers and those in the life sciences, biomedicine, agriculture, and computer science fields.
The first phase of the project involved constructing a 100,000 square foot research building. The structure contains flexible, open lab spaces that are meant to promote collaboration among students. The space is also designed to expand lab-intensive research activities in the fields of engineering, chemistry, and material sciences.
Building 1, which itself cost about $79.6 million, features three levels of laboratories, support space, and a four-story parking deck underground. The building currently houses roughly 30 faculty members and more than 100 graduate students. These students and professors are working in fields such as cell imaging microfluid separation, medical robotics, and combustion chemistry.
Building 2 is roughly 101,000 square feet and cost about $64 million to build. It features three levels of open lab space and an 88-seat classroom. The building is now home to dozens of students and faculty in the STEM fields, specifically in the areas of chemistry and engineering. Examples of the research being done in Building 2 include medical device materials that reduce the risk of infections and blood clots and the role of cell membranes in the development of antibiotic resistance to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics in the future.
At the dedication of the second building last August, University President Jere W. Morehead thanked Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, the Georgia General Assembly, and the Board of Regents for their role in bringing this years-long project to fruition. Kemp, speaking at the dedication of the first building in 2021, called the STEM workforce training infrastructure the “envy of the nation.”
At Construction Protection Systems, we’re proud to have played a small part in development of the Interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (I-STEM) Research Complex at the University of Georgia. Stay tuned for more updates from the makers of 1-2-3 Door Shield—the original, reusable door protection system.