Regions Central Virginia

VCU breaks ground on $93 million engineering research building

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, Barbara Boyan, dean of the engineering college; and VCU President Michael Rao. Photo courtesy VCU.

Virginia Commonwealth University leaders and city officials broke ground Tuesday on a 133,000-square-foot research building that will expand the College of Engineering’s laboratory capacity and serve as a collaboration hub for students and faculty.


The Engineering Research Building (ERB), scheduled to open in 2020, will support advanced research and economic development with a design that emphasizes “makerspaces,” collaborative research facilities and gathering areas.

Richmond-based architecture firms Baskervill and Smith McClane Architects and Boston-based firm Goody Clancy designed the $93 million building, which is being financed by funds from the state, VCU and private support.

Washington, D.C.-based Page/SST Planners designed the laboratory spaces.

“The college was established as a public-private partnership with a mandate to educate engineers who will fuel economic development in the region. The ERB reflects our commitment to meeting this goal,” Barbara D. Boyan, dean of the College of Engineering who holds the Alice T. and William H. Goodwin Jr. Chair, said in a statement.


The building’s first floor will include the office of Engineering Career Services and economic development resources for the college’s internship and co-op programs.


A 9,000-square-foot Innovation Maker Facility, supported by a gift from Altria, will encourage hands-on engineering and prototype development skills.


Floors two, three and four will house faculty research labs, offices, spaces for graduate and undergraduate student research, and interactive areas for group seminars.




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