EVANSDALE, W.Va. — West Virginia University’s Evansdale campus opened the doors to the new advanced engineering research building for the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources on Oct. 1. The building features learning spaces and laboratories where students and faculty can “come together to solve the technical problems of today and tomorrow,” Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner dean of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, said in a statement. The university has high hopes for the new engineering center. “In short, you will see the future of engineering,” Cilento added.
The new advanced engineering research building considerable improvement on the college’s former homes. The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources was founded in 1887 and was housed in various locations, lacking a common building. The college quickly outgrew its first dedicated building, built six years later. After several attempts at growing the college in its former location, two of which ended in fires, the college was moved to its new home on the Evansdale campus.
The new $43 million facility will offer space to not only the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, but to the whole university population. The new building will contain 63,000 square feet of laboratory and research space, which will be both environmentally safe and flexible. There will also be an 8,000-square-foot clean room for high technology learning and discovery, according to a statement issued by the university. Offices, classrooms, a learning center and graduate student space will extend over 29,000 square feet of the facility.
The project is part of a larger, $159.5 million effort to remake the Evansdale campus and provide an economic boost beyond its borders.
Dianne Anderson, Statler College advisory committee chairperson, noted the importance of the new building. “To gain trust from the investors that backed this building gives these students what they really need to graduate; the fundamentals and maximum experience from their education in advanced classrooms,” Anderson said in a statement.
Burt Hill/Stantec — an engineering, consulting and design firm based in Edmonton, Canada — designed the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources building. Pittsburgh-based construction company Massaro Corporation completed construction.
West Virginia University has high expectations for the new facility. In a statement, President Gordon Gee noted that the new research center is not just a structure, but also a “sanctuary for ideas and innovations that will fuel the future of West Virginia University.” Gee added that the new facility is a place for all to unite and solve problems addressing energy, security, water, science and technology.
This article was originally published on School Construction News.