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Eastern Kentucky University
Sciences Building, Phases 1 and 2
Richmond, Kentucky


HERA undertook a highly interactive programming approach involving the entire science faculty and campus administrators. Through a series of hands-on workshops, we developed test-fits of laboratory concepts in real time to help the faculty envision varied pedagogical methods.

In order to work within the budget, HERA generated several design options. All departments embraced the one approach that would work for everyone: Phasing the project so that Biology, the largest department, and Geology would be the second part of the structure built when funding became available.

Phase 1 contains physics/astronomy labs, chemistry labs, science education labs, forensic science labs, science department facilities for Environmental Research Institute, shared instrumentation such as SEM and NMR and chemical storage facilities. Physics and astronomy include studio lab classrooms so classes can be taught in inquiry-driven mode. Chemistry classrooms and labs are positioned so instruments can easily be shared, and biochemistry labs are situated near molecular biology labs (Phase 2) to permit close collaboration. The science education classrooms on the ground floor of Phase 1 open to an outdoor classroom behind the building. The building has several areas tucked into the floor plan to serve as collaboration spaces — places to take a break or meet with peers.

The Phase 2 science building wing will house the Department of Biological Sciences including biology, microbiology, clinical, biomedical research, physiology, anatomy, bioinformatics, genomics, ecology, botany, zoology and a vivarium and greenhouse. Geography and Geology also will occupy the building. The project also includes the fit-up of approximately 6,575 square feet of laboratory space on the first floor of the Phase 1 building. The 5-story building is tracking LEED NC certification.

Size: 174,195 gross square feet (Phase 1); 148,058 gross square feet (Phase 2)

Architect: Omni Architects

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