Wednesday, February 27, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 102


Regents approve building

By Keenan Singleton
\Daily Cougar Staff

St. Louis has its "Gateway to the West," a breathtaking arch that signifies the completion of America's manifest destiny. And with the funding approval of a state-of-the-art science,engineering and classroom building, UH will have a "Gateway from the West," a sure to be equally breathtaking edifice that will help the University toward its dream of Tier I status.

Chris Galloway/The Daily Cougar

The UH System Board of Regents meets in Ezekiel Cullen on Tuesday to approve a new science and research center. The center will be located near the UH Science Center across from Hofheinz Pavilion.

The building was approved by the UH System Board of Regents during its meeting Tuesday at Ezekiel Cullen.

The $51 million building, which could be as large as 200,000 square feet, will house approximately 11 classrooms and feature a 550-seat lecture hall. It will primarily serve as a
science and research facility on Cullen and Holman streets. Construction is set to begin July 2003 and finish in June 2005. Funding will come from bond proceeds.

"This is exciting to be planning this building, it's badly needed on campus," said Edward Sheridan, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs. "The need was so apparent that we
(Sheridan and UH System Chancellor and UH President Arthur K. Smith) never really had to discuss it. It was clear that this should be our first initiative."

The structure will stand next to the two existing science and research buildings and will introduce modern laboratories.

Necessary renovations to the existing buildings couldn't start because of a lack of space, which would shut many out of their respective workspaces.

"It will be world-class," Vice President for Administration and Finances Randy Harris said. "It'll make people pay attention to UH and be a landmark on this campus."

The newest jewel in UH's crown would be multi-functional and help solve, but not totally cure, various problems.

"It will have three direct effects," Sheridan said. "Help with future hires, it would free up space to renovate with interrupting research and would allow for some consolidation of
researchers in the city."

With the funding and placement decided, the next step was to find someone to build it. 

"We solicited bids through Vice President (Randy) Harris' operation," Sheridan said. "We got a high amount of interest from some very fine architectural firms."

After a lengthy interview process, the committee narrowed the search down to six firms before making the finals cuts to two firms: Perkins and Will and Cesar Pelli.

"We asked ourselves, who seemed to be the best for UH?" Sheridan said. "Initially Perkins and Will were the favorites, but after visiting various sites around the country, we
unanimously decided to go with Cesar Pelli." 

Pelli's resume is as extensive as it is impressive. After serving as dean of the school of architecture at Yale University, he established Cesar Pelli & Associates in 1977.

The building will fundamentally serve the natural sciences and engineering departments, but the classrooms will be for general purposes.

"It's a new concept, but not revolutionary," Smith said.

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