Chemistry Renovation – Phase II

Total Requested Amount: $ 16,000,000

Renovate and modernize a portion of 65 year old Chemistry Building to support student enrollment and faculty and student retention; providing facilities for 21st Century teaching and research in the Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) Department. The project will complete renovations of the building's 1951 classroom, class lab and office wing. The approximately 38,710 gross square feet (27,359 net sf) the facility will be remodeled providing upper division classroom labs, seminar rooms and updating chemistry's primary teaching auditorium. Computational chemistry research labs will be developed and faculty and student offices with student study and support areas will be completed in the building.

Utilities, HVAC, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and IT upgrades will be finalized as well. The remodel includes renovations of UNM Chemical & Research Laboratory Supplies (CRLS) storage and services areas including the adjacent exterior storage and transportation yard and offices which are located in Chemistry for easy access to UNM's research core on main campus. CRLS provides chemicals and Lab supplies to UNM’s scientific research and teaching labs.

This project will fully renovate the Chemistry Building which received substantial infrastructure and research laboratory upgrades in its research laboratory wing. The prior renovations, completed in 2016, fully remodeled and upgraded that wing's infrastructure, mechanicals and HVAC to create safe, modern research laboratories and left an approximate 8,300 NSF of lab space shelled for future lab development.

The current project request will complete approximately 8,300 net sf of shelled research labs allowing full occupancy by the CCB faculty and student researchers. Modernized teaching labs will benefit students Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Chemical Engineering, Biology, and Biochemistry, including pre-pharmacy and pre-medical students.

Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) Department provides required course work for 12 STEM undergraduate programs in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Nursing and Physics. Total undergraduate enrollments at CCB are listed below to capture the large required instructional enrollments that push the need for our classroom and class lab renewal as part of the Chemistry remodel project.

This critical project fully completes the renovation and modernization of the Chemistry building, the primary residence for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, (CCB) supporting UNM’s successful efforts to rebuild Chemistry’s teaching and research mission. Over the past 30 years, several external review committees have cited numerous safety issues and educational facility deficiencies in the classrooms/class-labs, particularly in undergraduate laboratory teaching facilities.

In addition to the reconstruction of the teaching labs, auditorium and seminar classrooms, a number of infrastructure upgrades will be required to make the building fully functional, including HVAC, information technology, ADA upgrades, electrical distribution and energy efficiency, and replacement of several key pieces of existing equipment necessary for undergraduate and graduate education.

Completing shelled research laboratory spaces in the Riebsomer Wing of Clark Hall will allow the Chemistry Department research faculty to consolidate, allowing researchers to interact, promoting research, shared knowledge and collaboration. CCB research grant awards have shown significant growth with 13 awards in the last 2 years Total research expenditures in FY2016 reached ~$2.9M, the highest level since FY2005, and new grant funding was ~$2.5M. These research grant successes require that shelled space be occupied as grant driven research continues to rise and scientific collaborations require collocating CCB faculty.

The completed project will fully develop shelled research labs and instrument facilities as Chemical, Biological, computational research and Materials Science research requiring instrumentation has grown. Providing state of the art Core Instrumentation is critical to recruiting and retaining faculty and graduate students, and provides valuable on-campus capabilities which benefit other UNM researchers in molecular biology, medicine and materials science.

The Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology is one of the oldest and most well established departments at the University of New Mexico, having become an academic unit in 1913. In FY15, the Department served over 7000 undergraduates and graduate students from more than 20 different UNM degree-granting programs, and generated over 22,000 student credit hours. Many of these students apply to the UNM Health Sciences programs including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, dental hygiene, and so on. Virtually all of the students in the College of Engineering take general chemistry, and chemistry courses are also part of the requirements for College of Arts & Sciences programs in Biochemistry, Biology, Physics & Astronomy, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Biology.

The proposed renewal reorganizes each of the floors in the Clark Wing, bringing students to Clark Hall by providing student gathering and study spaces and providing faculty offices. Consolidating the Department strengthens collaborations among faculty with a renewed emphasis on bio-therapeutics, new electronic and photonic materials and solar energy research. With improved laboratories, student gathering, and a robust infrastructure, recruitment and retention will bring more opportunities to attract and retain the most innovative researchers and students; these in turn will generate both the ideas and the trained workforce to bolster New Mexico's growing economy in medicine, photonics, and solar energy development.

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