Ginelle Lang, Director of Campus Planning, and Carol Fierke, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, spoke to The Brandeis Hoot regarding the construction and plans for the new science complex. New details about the science complex project—known as Science 2A—were announced in October 2022.
“The addition of Phase 2A to the science complex will help the university achieve several goals including: increasing recruitment and retention of top faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students; leveraging and strengthening the impact and Brandeis’ leadership in defining scientific advances; and enhancing interdisciplinary connections across campus,” Lang wrote to The Hoot.
According to Lang, the project will be overseen by the Project Sponsor Group (PSG), and is co-chaired by the Provost and Executive Vice President (EVP) for Finance and Administration. They will be responsible for overseeing the design and progress for the new science building with assistance from members including the Dean of Arts and Sciences; Vice Provost for Research; Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement; Chief Financial Officer; Chief Information Officer; Vice President, Campus Planning and Operations and Head of the Division of Science.
To assess the needs of the community and inform the design team, PSG has collaborated with a Stakeholder Representative Group. They will be responsible for getting the opinions of various disciplines in the Division of Science on campus including staff and student thoughts.
When asked about what the leaders of this project recognize as needs for sciences at the university, Fierke responded that “the goals of the new building are to increase recruitment and retention of top faculty and students, strengthen the impact and leadership of Brandeis in scientific advances and enhance interdisciplinary connections across campus.”
To meet these needs, the building will be designed to be equipped to handle the “demand for education in the Sciences at Brandeis,” according to Fierke. This will include providing research laboratories and interdisciplinary spaces in the areas of physical and biological sciences. Fierke noted there would be a “particular focus on chemical sciences.”
“The new building will also enhance the undergraduate experience by providing space for undergraduate research, flexible project labs and classrooms, collaboration areas and study spaces and Maker lab space,” wrote Fierke.
Lang shared with The Hoot that the university is still in the early phases of the design process so the exact considerations made for the design of the building have yet to be decided on. Elements meant to promote collaboration, productivity and natural lighting have yet to be decided by renderings and will be shared with the community as they become updated. The models of the building shared so far, according to Lang, were “based upon an extensive planning study.”
According to Lang, “this planning study set up goals for the project and space use guidelines that include criteria related to collaboration, daylight, and productivity, and also highlight the need for shared, flexible, efficient spaces with systems that help enable our campus’s sustainability goals.”
Fierke also discussed with The Hoot the implications the new building would have for the engineering major which was approved last academic year. “The flexible project labs and classrooms and Maker lab space in the building will also support the development of this program,” according to Fierke. Another goal of the new building is that it will provide a space for interdisciplinary research that will attract new faculty. The hope is that the newly acquired faculty would be involved in launching the Engineering Sciences program.
Construction on the Science 2a project is projected to begin in late 2023, according to a previous Hoot article. The project is expected to take two to three years to complete, according to the article.