New Construction

University of Memphis Breaks Ground on STEM Facility

The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn., recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new STEM Research and Classroom Building, according to university news. The two-story building comes with a price tag of $41 million, will cover 65,000 square feet, and is scheduled for completion in early 2024.

The university received a Carnegie R1 classification last year, and the new construction represents an effort to advance research capabilities and facilities. The building’s plans were submitted in May 2020 and received approval and funding from the state.

“It’s long overdue,” said Bill Hardgrave, University of Memphis President. “The status puts us among the top universities and research in the country. To sustain that and build upon that, we have to have additional research space, and this building is critical.”

The ground floor will contain lab space, including labs dedicated to senior projects and research. The second floor will feature a configurable, active learning classroom that can be reimagined as a large or small classroom space.

“A lot of flexibility has been built into the space so that we can figure one way now, but the engineers, the designers, and architects really spent a lot of effort to think about the potential adjustments that we may need in the future,” said Program host and Interim Provost Abby Parrill.

The facility’s amenities include lab space for advanced manufacturing, biomaterials, cybersecurity, data science, and earthquake engineering, It will also feature instructional venues, research space for the Institute for Intelligent Systems, and open areas to host student design projects and competitions. The university’s existing engineering building will undergo renovation and connect to the new facility with a walkway, according to local news.

The university partnered with A2H and SmithGroup for the building’s design.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].