Eastern Kentucky University

Sciences Building, Phase 1

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.

Faculty explain the benefits of the new building.

“The task before us was daunting: after years in our old facilities, equipment had accumulated, migrated, and in some cases, disintegrated. HERA systematically helped us figure out what we had, what we needed, and where it would all go in the new building. They made an impossible task doable.”
Malcolm Frisbie, Ph.D., Project Shepherd


Richmond, Kentucky


178,400 GSF


Programming, utilization analysis, lab planning and design, equipment planning


Omni Architects