The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., has held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $40 million Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center.
The university says site preparation for the project began in December 2016 with the demolition of the Engineering Shops and L Building. Construction is anticipated to be completed by spring 2019.
Designed to serve students from all engineering disciplines, the facility will house functions such as student recruitment, curriculum advising, career mentoring and placement, tutoring, international experiences, industrial relations and professional development.
The first floor of the building is expected to include a design and innovation center, which will consist of student maker spaces, laboratories, shops, project incubators, study rooms, flexible classrooms, computer labs and more, while also serving as the home for engineering student organizations.
The second floor will house a tutoring and learning center, academic advising center, student recruitment center, professional development and corporate relations center, the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program and offices for support staff. The third floor will incorporate ample, spacious student study areas with large-group and small-group study rooms, along with boardrooms, conference rooms and auditoriums all outfitted with the latest smart technologies.
Much of the funding for construction of the center comes from a $30 million gift from John and Rosemary Brown, which was part of an overall $57 million gift, the largest in university history.
“John and Rosemary’s transformational gift will enable the college to construct a facility capable of significantly transforming the personal and professional successes of tomorrow’s Auburn engineers by providing students with the highest level of hands-on experiences and academic support throughout their college experience,” says Chris Roberts, dean of engineering. “Redefining engineering education in a changing world and training engineers inside and outside the classroom is a vital part of our vision. This facility will enable the college to build the infrastructure to make this a reality.”