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Virginia Commonwealth University Gets $121 Million for New STEM Facility

Virginia Commonwealth University has received $121 million in state funding to establish a new STEM education facility, according to a statement issued by the school.

Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed the state budget, providing the school with funding to construct a six-floor building which will house lab, classroom and office space for the College of Humanities and Sciences.

The new facility, which will benefit more than 15,000 students who take STEM classes annually, will be built at the site of the Franklin Street Gym on the Monroe Park Campus.

“The new STEM facility will provide state-of-the-art learning, research and collaboration space in a location that is in the heart of the student community,” VCU President Michael Rao said.

“I am grateful to the General Assembly for their support. Their funding of the project speaks to their belief in VCU’s educational mission and the commonwealth’s goal to become the best-educated state by 2030.”

The new building will include 34 teaching labs along with innovation centers, classrooms and computer labs. It will also facilitate more innovation in teaching methods, easy and immediate access to STEM courses, and provide students and faculty with more study spaces.

Officials say that it will help students to reduce debt, which results from the time spent on fulfilling degree requirements, and improve the number of total STEM graduates.

“The new building will help enhance the academic success of our students by providing the laboratories where students can put to practice the knowledge acquired during the lectures,” Montse Fuentes, dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences, said.

“This space is essential to provide experiential learning opportunities to our students, facilitate both innovative and flexible teaching methods, and provide students with both instructional and study space that will prepare them to become indispensable to our society.”

The 168,000-square-foot building will be designed by Ballinger and Quinn Evans Architects and constructed by Hourigan.

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