Rose-Hulman Preparing to Welcome New Academic Building This Fall

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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The new academic building will have design studios, flexible classrooms, a state-of-the-art chemistry lab, collaboration workspaces, and faculty innovation spaces, along with an atrium featuring artwork that reacts to changing conditions within the building.

Nearly two years after initial planning and start of construction, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology officials are anxiously anticipating the opening of a new academic building with its new classrooms, laboratories, workspaces, and an interactive art exhibit that includes a programming component for students, further enhancing the institute’s leadership role in undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics education.

The $29 million, 70,000-square-foot building will be open later this summer and ready for use for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. It is the first academic-centric building added to Rose-Hulman in nearly 25 years and is the first building on campus to meet new WELL-certified building standards for design interventions, operational protocols, and policies with a commitment to fostering a culture of health and wellness, important criteria in this COVID-19 pandemic era.

Situated between Moench Hall and Myers Hall on the east side of campus, the new academic building will have design studios, flexible classrooms, state-of-the-art chemistry laboratories, collaboration workspaces, and faculty innovation spaces. The building has been designed to support active student engagement through flexible and easily adaptable spaces for student projects and design studios, and breakout space for students and teams to collaborate on projects.

Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons says, “These academic features are welcome additions to our campus. This building continues our commitment to provide our students and faculty with leading-edge facilities and equipment to educate tomorrow’s STEM leaders and innovators. It also was our desire to design a building that meets our current and future needs, with special attention paid to sustainability, health and safety.”

The project is being supported through a $15 million lead gift from an anonymous donor, along with other individual and family donors, as part of the Mission Driven campaign for Rose-Hulman.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rick Stamper points out that the new building has multiple purposes and will be used by several academic departments for classes and laboratories. It will be the new home base for the institute’s expanding engineering design program; provides more space for chemistry and biochemistry instruction and research, and introduces a new food science development and testing laboratory. Students also will have access to prototyping laboratories that include laser-cutting devices, 3D printers, machine tools, and CNC machines.

“The new chemistry and design labs will have a dramatic impact on the experiences of nearly every future Rose-Hulman student,” states Stamper. “Chemistry is a foundational science for almost every one of our majors and design is a central activity for all engineering majors. The new academic building improves our capability to deliver great experiences in both of those areas.”

Stamper adds, “A central feature of our engineering design program is the experiential hands-on nature of the curriculum. That sort of curriculum demands a special type of facility that the new academic building delivers. However, I am particularly excited about what the new building does for our chemistry program. That department has always provided our students with incredible experiences with access to amazing instruments and equipment. The new building will put on full display our outstanding chemistry department and the wonderful experiences our chemistry faculty provide students.”

Coons remarks that the new classrooms, laboratories, and workspaces will allow the institute to increase academic instructional, research, and faculty office opportunities in other current academic buildings throughout campus. These future plans are presently under discussion by administrators and academic department leadership.

A design feature of the new academic building will be a central atrium, with interior and exterior glass making it a “window into Rose” that showcases all of the work taking place within the building. A focal point of the atrium will be a large-scale artwork titled "Depth of Field", specially designed by Adam Buente and Kyle Perry of Project One Studio in Indianapolis, that can be programmed by Rose-Hulman students into different artistic arrangements in the future, and change in reaction to conditions within the building’s environment.

The building was designed by RATIO Architects of Indianapolis and construction was managed by Garmong Construction Services of Terre Haute. Several subcontractors and local laborers were involved in the project since the summer of 2019.