STEM los alamitos

Construction Zone: STEM facilities

Oct. 3, 2022
Many schools and universities are adding space for programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

STEM building is new campus gateway for Los Alamitos, Calif., high school

The Los Alamitos (Calif.) Unified School District has opened a $52 million STEM Building at Los Alamitos High School.

The three-story building serves as the new campus gateway. The 86,528-square-foot building houses 30 science, math, and career technical education classrooms with staff spaces on each floor to support collaboration. The ground floor features a college and career center, a media center, a computer lab, and a specialized fabrication lab for manufacturing, engineering, and robotics. The outdoor courtyards and "stadium seating" grand staircase will accommodate flexible learning and performances.

“It's an advanced facility, on par with what you'd find on a higher education campus,” says Los Alamitos Superintendent Andrew Pulver. “We're excited to bring these world-class amenities to our students' educational journey.”

Funding for the new facility came from a $97 million bond measure approved by voters in November 2018.

The builder is Erickson-Hall, the architect is Westgroup Designs, and the construction manager is Rachlin Partners.

Virginia community college opens STEM facility

Laurel Ridge Community College has opened Hazel Hall, a 40,000-square-foot STEM building on its Fauquier campus in Warrenton, Va.

Fauquier Now says that the facility will host a mix of health care, science and engineering courses for students and has a conference center that community organizations can reserve for meetings and events.

Officials say the facility will enable the college to take on more students and expand its education and training programs.

"I'm sure you will agree that having a building dedicated to science, engineering and health professions has never been more important,” says Kimberly Blosser, president of the college.

The building has labs for biology, microbiology, chemistry, nursing skills, and engineering, as well as a maker space and simulation training center.

The architect is Grimm + Parker Architects.

State gives OK for construction of STEM facility at University of Wisconsin-River Falls

The Wisconsin State Building Commission has authorized construction of the $116.7 million Science and Technology Innovation Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

The university says the 73,865-square-foot facility, known as SciTech, will have flexible undergraduate instructional laboratory suites, active learning studios, undergraduate and faculty research spaces and shared interdisciplinary space. SciTech will have 32 undergraduate research spaces and 12 instructional labs.

The project also will enable the university to grow partnerships with businesses and industries through collaborative programming, internships and innovative product development via the University Business Collaboration Center.

“Students will benefit through engagement in active-learning spaces designed for the 21st century,” says Maria Gallo, chancellor of UW-River Falls.      

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed by late 2025. Classes are slated to start in the new building beginning January 2026.

Community College in Puyallup, Wash., breaks ground on STEM building

Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Wash., has broken ground on 54,000-square foot Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Building.

The community college says the facility will be first new academic building on the Puyallup campus since 2010.

Plans for the building call for eight teaching labs, a fabrication lab with supporting design and collaboration spaces, nine classrooms, a double classroom, 30 faculty offices, informal learning and study spaces, and numerous support spaces for students and faculty aimed at collaboration and safety.  

The fabrication lab will enable students and the broader community to actively build and participate in hands-on activities.    

A core principle of the building’s design is to be “radically welcoming” so that students can see the scientific process, imagine themselves as scientists, and transition from observer to innovator.  

“Our goal is to advance equitable access and success in STEM education so students can thrive and enrich our local and global communities," says Pierce College Puyallup Interim President Matt Campbell. 

$53 million STEM complex under construction at Michigan Tech

Michigan Technological University in Houghton is building a $53 million facility that it's calling the H-STEM complex, for Health, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The university says the building will have newly constructed shared and flexible laboratory spaces co-located with renovated classrooms and learning spaces within the existing Chemical Sciences and Engineering Building.

The complex will enable researchers and students from Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Computer Science, and Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology to work together in collaborative spaces with shared equipment.

Michigan Tech says the facility has been designed to qualify for LEED Gold certification. The building is expected to be completed in 2024.

Catholic high school in Colorado breaks ground on science facility

Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo., has broken ground on a 65,000-square-foot Science & Innovation Center.

The $35 million center will enable the school to expand project-based learning and collaboration among the school’s 1,700 students.

An 8,000-square-foot Innovation Center and maker space with the latest technology and equipment will bring student projects to life in tangible, physical forms.

The Catholic high school is over capacity and is in critical need of additional space and upgraded facilities for interdisciplinary exploration, creativity, entrepreneurship and scientific experimentation, school leaders say. “The Science & Innovation Center will be a true front door to campus,” says school president David Card.

Featuring spacious classrooms for expanding the biology, chemistry and physics curriculum, the facility will enable Regis to expand courses in robotics, rocket science, environmental science, media literacy, and studio arts.

Construction is expected to take about 18 months. 

The architect is Larson Incitti Architects and the builder is Saunders Construction.

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