UT Arlington is getting ready to build another massive laboratory and classroom building, this one with a focus on health sciences.
The new six-story Science, Engineering Innovation and Research building, details of which were announced Thursday, will also help meet increasing student demand in engineering, specifically biomedical engineering, University of Texas at Arlington leaders said in a news release.
The 200,000-square-foot building will feature a structural steel and glass atrium and large multiuse collaborative spaces, large classrooms and lecture halls, and “innovative” research and teaching labs, UTA said.
It will be paid for in part by $70 million in tuition revenue bonds approved by state lawmakers this year. UTA is seeking additional funding from UT System bond proceeds and the Permanent University Fund, as well as pledging to raise private gifts and donations.
The building will be southeast of Pickard Hall, home of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and south of the existing Life Science building. Work is expected to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2018.
“Demand for degrees in engineering, science, nursing and allied health careers continues to grow, and given our substantial academic and research strength in these areas, UT Arlington is well positioned to become a national leader in health science with the addition of this collaborative research and teaching facility and state-of-the-art innovative laboratory space,” President Vistasp M. Karbhari said in a statement.
The project will be the first new research and academic space at UT Arlington since the 234,000-square-foot Engineering Research Building opened in January 2011 at South Cooper Street and UTA Boulevard. It has fostered new interdisciplinary faculty and student collaboration and enabled enrollment in the College of Engineering to surpass 6,000 students for the first time last year.
Collaborative research based in SEIR will increase UT Arlington’s national standing in science and engineering, said Duane Dimos, vice president for research and the university’s champion for the SEIR project.
“As we continue to strengthen research at UTA, the SEIR building will be critical to boldly advancing our strategic goals in health research and education by bringing together leading researchers in science, engineering and health innovation in a new state-of-the-art building,” Dimos said in a statement.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said the project’s benefits will reach beyond the university.
“UT Arlington really is seizing the opportunity to be a catalyst for growth and improvement in Arlington and across the North Texas region,” Williams said in a statement. “Businesses thrive in communities with premier urban research universities like UT Arlington. The Science, Engineering Innovation and Research building will enable UTA to scale up academic and research activity to meet our regional and statewide workforce and business needs.”