With funding in place after securing the governor’s signature, VCU has revealed further details about another new building it plans to construct in the city.
The school on Friday announced that its forthcoming science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building will rise six stories at 817 W. Franklin St., where the old Franklin Street Gym currently stands, and cost $121 million.
The 168,000-square-foot building would be used by VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences, and work on the site is expected to begin in spring 2020. A timeline for completion was not disclosed.
Quinn Evans Architects and Ballinger are the project’s architects and Hourigan is the general contractor.
The funding for the project was finalized May 2 when Gov. Ralph Northam signed the state budget. The budget includes $105 million of state money for the STEM facility, per a presentation VCU President Michael Rao gave to the university’s Board of Visitors in March.
The STEM building was announced in March as part of VCU’s master plan, a nonbinding framework for future development on and around its campuses. Other projects outlined in the master plan include a gallery and art center near the Institute for Contemporary Art and an athletic village, possibly near The Diamond.
The STEM building will feature two large-capacity classrooms, 34 labs and other rooms for classes such as chemistry, physics, psychology and kinesiology.
In a release, VCU said most of its current labs can’t keep up with demand, citing that more than 15,000 students take STEM classes each year, nearly half of the school’s 31,000 enrollment.
The Franklin Street Gym currently houses some classroom and office space, but is mostly vacant. The school’s main gym has been the Cary Street Gym at 101 S. Linden St., which opened in 2010.
VCU already is shuffling operations out of the gym ahead of the project, including moving two classrooms to a former print shop on West Grace Street.
By year-end, VCU is scheduled to have at least $900 million worth of construction projects ongoing throughout the city.
Work is underway on a $93 million addition to its School of Engineering building and a $349 million adult outpatient facility near its medical campus. Earlier this year, it announced plans for a $350 million children’s hospital on East Marshall.