University of Arizona innovates in Chem building renovation – Spaces4Learning

Campus renovations

University of Arizona leads the way in Chem building renovation

The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona this week kicked off a project to renovate its 85-year-old chemistry building and new construction of a collaborative learning center. The project has a budget of around $ 42 million and is expected to be completed in December 2022.

The work will result in a new combined 78,600 square foot classroom space that encourages cooperation and active learning. The renovated chemistry building, colloquially known as “Old Chem”, will feature four collaborative classrooms, departmental and advisory offices, a faculty workspace, three teaching studios and a renovated student space. nuclear magnetic resonance equipment, as well as electronics and metal stores.

“From the start, when we first unveiled our strategic plan, we intended to renovate and reimagine the old Chem building into learning spaces that would support collaborative and flexible teaching,” said Robert C Robbins, President of the University of Arizona, at the inauguration. “We are investing in initiatives that encourage active teaching and learning practices, and this renovation is part of our goal to develop spaces on campus that take advantage of this interactive and holistic approach to teaching and learning. ‘learning.”

The renovation of the chemistry building is part of the university’s ongoing undergraduate STEM education project, which began in 2014 and has seen dozens of standard classrooms around campus transformed into collaborative learning spaces. The addition of equipment such as flexible seating and classroom technology has the ultimate goal of engaging students in active learning practices.

“The renovation of the Old Chem Building will support the missions of the College of Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry and the University of Arizona campus to provide high quality education and advance research,” said Carmala Garzione , Dean of the College of Sciences. “The renovation includes state-of-the-art, state-of-the-art research facilities that researchers and students across campus can access. There will be a viewing cave for immersive virtual reality learning. The renovation will also expand the award-winning, world-renowned “Chemical Thinking” educational program that has transformed chemistry education at the University of Arizona and across the country. “

The university partners with architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch for the design and with Sundt Construction.

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Matt Jones is the editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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