VCU’s new multimillion-dollar STEM building on Franklin Street is expected to wrap up construction early next year.
The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building is taking shape at 817 W. Franklin St., on the site of what was the university’s Franklin Street Gym.
The projected budget to build and equip the roughly 168,000-square-foot, six-story building is $124 million, VCU Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Rich Sliwoski said in an interview last week. The project is fully funded by the state.
Work is expected to be completed in March 2023. Classes are slated to be held in the building the following fall semester.
The new building will be used by the College of Humanities and Sciences for lab, classroom and office space. It will feature 34 teaching labs among other instructional spaces for chemistry, psychology, kinesiology, physics and math courses. It also will include a plant-growing room, crime-scene lab, a 75-seat classroom and a 100-seat classroom in addition to two 200-seat classrooms.
VCU has outgrown existing lab facilities and the project is intended to meet demand for STEM courses.
“Our STEM facilities are overcrowded and this building will allow more students to finish in four years because we have the capacity to give them the labs and classes they need to finish on time,” Sliwoski said.
VCU expects that more than 10,000 students will receive instruction in the building per semester and as many as 70 courses will be taught there every semester, according to a fact sheet about the facility provided by the university.
Sliwoski said the project is essentially unchanged from the original vision for the facility when it was announced in spring 2019. The project cost has ticked upward by several million dollars from the cost estimate announced that year. Per the university’s website, construction started in summer 2020.
Hourigan is the project’s general contractor. Ballinger and Quinn Evans are the project’s architects.
The Arts and Innovation Academic Building is in its planning phase, with construction expected to kick off in September 2023, according to meeting materials reviewed by the VCU Board of Visitors’ administration committee earlier this month. The building is set to rise at the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets. Hourigan has been tapped to be the general contractor on that project. The project’s architect is William Rawn Associates.
Work has started on the Technology Operations Center at 707 W. Broad St. That project is planned to wrap up in December 2023. Mark Turner Construction is the general contractor for the project and PSH+ is the architect.