Univ. announces the expansion of the scientific complex

Brandeis has announced an expansion of the science complex scheduled to begin later this year, according to an article published in BrandeisNOW on September 29. This expansion includes the addition and renovation of approximately 100,000 square feet that will be used for classrooms, wet labs, Maker Lab spaces and core facilities. The physical expansion of the science complex will go hand in hand with the expansion of the applied science programs, as it is a major part of the addition of the engineering science program at Brandeis. This new program is expected to launch in the 2026-27 academic year and was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2021. As Brandeis’ science facilities expand, so do the programs offered.

Future: Generated aerial view of what the Science Complex will look like once construction is complete.

This expansion is titled Science 2A because it is the second phase of the Brandeis Science Facility Expansion and Renovation Project following the construction of the Shapiro Science Center, which opened in 2009. This new building will be located adjacent to and connected to the SSC through the main atrium. The Science 2A building will be five stories tall and will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, according to the BrandeisNOW article, meaning this building will be accessible to every member of the Brandeis community. The article continues that 75% of the spaces in the new building will be flexible research labs, while the remaining 25% will be used for teaching spaces and other miscellaneous facilities. There will also be Maker Lab space on the first floor, expanding the current Maker Labs located in Farber Library.

In addition to constructing a new building, the article explains that this expansion will include both interior and exterior renovations. The outer space of the Science Complex, “Red Square”, will be transformed into a green space with walking paths. As quoted in BrandeisNOW, Ginelle Lang, director of campus planning, stated “from the accessible pathways from one building to another to the more inviting landscaping, this will be a place to connect.” The Science 2A project will also include the removal of the upper floors of the Edison-Lecks Science Building and partial renovation of the Gerstenzang Science Library.

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Green Space: Building plans include a large outdoor area for students and faculty to enjoy.

The Science 2A project is overseen by a project-sponsored group. This PSG is currently co-chaired by Provost Carol A. Fierke, as well as Stu Urecki, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration. Urtesky states in the article that “by building new space and incorporating and renovating useful existing spaces, this project will sustainably provide a greater home for discovery and collaboration in the sciences … Science 2A will allow our faculty and students to expand their research activities and to connect across disciplines.” University President Ron Lebowitz has tasked PSG with overseeing planning, budgeting, programming and space utilization guidelines.

Compass Project Management was selected in April 2022 as the owner’s project manager for this project. The architectural firm Payette was also selected, the same firm that designed the SSC during the first phase of the science complex expansion. The Science 2A project is due to begin construction in late 2023 and is expected to take two to three years to complete, with a total cost of about $145 million. Last spring, the Board of Trustees approved the issuance of a bond to financially support this project, and Brandeis’ Department of Institutional Advancement has already begun fundraising to support the expansion.

In the same BrandeisNOW article, University President Ron Liebowitz spoke of his excitement about the growth of Brandeis’ scientific community. “The Brandeis science enterprise is a vibrant, thriving part of the university with growing student demand… This large-scale new construction project will create a welcoming environment that will meet that demand. One cannot help but be excited after viewing the plans for this project. I am confident that we will see life-changing discoveries—and world-changing scientists—emerge from our revitalized science complex.”

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