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The future of Science Hill

Alan Flurry

Modernization and expansion to continue to fulfill the university's teaching and research missions, a critical part of campus will become the focus of renovations in the near future:

“To remain one of the nation’s top research universities, the University of Georgia must maximize its available facilities devoted to scientific inquiry,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Our comprehensive plan combines new and renovated research facilities to achieve our goals in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.”

An essential element of the plan is the modernization of existing research facilities on Science Hill, including approximately 105,000 square feet in the original Chemistry Building to accommodate a significant portion of the research activities currently housed in the adjacent Biological Sciences Building.

The more than 120,000 square feet of available laboratory space in the Biological Sciences Building will then be modernized to accommodate remaining biological sciences research as well as additional future STEM research activities—especially growth in the computational sciences, reflecting the dramatic expansion of large data sets used in virtually all areas of research today.

Facilities such as the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical Sciences and the Center for Molecular Medicine continue to showcase the university’s longstanding leadership in groundbreaking research. But there is a significant need to update aging facilities, particularly on Science Hill, where buildings constructed in the 1960s comprise more than 700,000 square feet of academic space—most of which is devoted to scientific research laboratories.

This is welcome news for faculty and students, so many of whom use these buildings for fundamental coursework. The changing needs of laboratories can be easily understood though older buildings can be very challenging to retrofit for efficiency, proper ventilation and leading-edge investigative capacities. Kudos to the university for working to address this great need at the center of campus.

Image: The Chemistry and Biological Sciences buildings will undergo major renovations as the university continues to ramp up its research enterprise and STEM education. (Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA)

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