New UAB Science and Engineering Complex proposal advances with Stage I Board approval

Science and engineering programs will come together in a new state-of-the-art complex at UAB, pending additional Board approvals.

BOT2joomlaThe first building in a state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Complex at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has received initial Stage I approval by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees to move forward with planning. 

The new complex will house the College of Arts and Sciences departments of Biology, Physics and Chemistry, as well as the School of Engineering in a future phase. The complex will be designed to support the unique instructional, research and collaborative needs of these important programs’ students, faculty and staff.

“This is a significant step as we continue to build on our unprecedented momentum in every corner of our campus with tremendous support from the Board,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “New, modern building projects like this — and like our Collat School of Business, School of Nursing, Hill Student Center, Police and Public Safety Headquarters, new and upcoming residence halls, and our new College of Arts and Sciences building slated to open this summer — are monuments to the hard work and support of so many who have made our continued growth possible, and they foreshadow greater things to come.”

The complex will join science, technology and engineering programs into a highly visible, modern space that is purposefully designed to support the unique instructional and research needs of these programs. It will foster collaboration between disciplines and allow for the sharing of resources to make these programs more efficient and effective. 

“As our programs in science and engineering continue to grow, it is important that we provide facilities to support their educational and research efforts,” said UAB Provost Pam Benoit. “The new complex will enhance facilities to support strategic initiatives around education, research, innovation and economic development, as well as community engagement.”

The $64.5 million building that has received Stage I approval and represents the first phase of the Science and Engineering Complex will provide 115,000 gross square feet of classroom, laboratory and administrative space to support the goals of UAB’s strategic plan, Forging the Future. Subsequent phases of the complex will be presented for Board approval in the future. 

This initial building in the complex, which will house the Biology and Physics departments, as well as classrooms, instructional space and labs for the Department of Chemistry, will replace the current Education Building located on 14th Street South between University Boulevard and 10th Avenue South.

“This new science and engineering complex will serve as an engine that will transform education and provide new economic development opportunities for UAB, the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama,” said Robert Palazzo, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “When completed, this new UAB complex will serve as a platform for the collision of ideas, drawing the best students and faculty from around the world and spawning discoveries and innovations that will drive the development of high-tech local businesses. Fueled by a steady flow of young, ambitious, tech-savvy entrepreneurs who will graduate from this site, the result will be an unprecedented elevation of the economic competitiveness of the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama.”