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
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
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,"