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New Building Will Expand Science Research

January 12, 2006

A new building that will further Northwestern’s commitment to interdisciplinary research in the sciences will begin construction late this year, University officials said today.

Located on the Evanston campus immediately south of the Pancoe-Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Life Sciences Pavilion and the Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly, the new building will provide lab space for 16 principal investigators and their research groups working in the areas of chemistry, biology and engineering.

“This new facility, along with the other science research buildings completed in the past few years, provides Northwestern some of the best research facilities in the country,” said President Henry S. Bienen. “Providing state-of-the-art facilities will enable Northwestern faculty to continue to do the cutting-edge research that is taking place on our campuses.”

In the past five years, Northwestern has opened three major research buildings: Pancoe-ENH and the Nanofabrication Center on the Evanston campus and the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center on the Chicago campus.

Estimated to cost approximately $75 million, the 140,000-square-foot Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology Building will feature a major imaging center for the campus; core facilities for therapeutics and diagnostics and for proteomics; state-of-the-art research laboratories; and offices for faculty, staff and research assistants. The building will also feature two two-story interaction spaces.

Construction is expected to start late this year and take approximately two-and-a-half years to complete.

Zimmer Gunsul Fransca Partnership, the same firm that designed Pancoe-ENH and the Nanofabrication Center, is designing the new building. The new facility will be connected with both of those buildings via pedestrian bridges, extending the reach of the above-ground walkways that link Northwestern’s science facilities.  When the Proteomics building is complete, it will be possible to walk from the Sheridan Road entrance of the Technological Institute all the way to the new building without having to go outside. Other buildings linked by the pedestrian bridges include Cook Hall, the Mudd Science and Engineering Library, Hogan Hall, the Catalysis Center and the Ford Design Center.

“Scientific research that crosses disciplinary boundaries has been a hallmark of Northwestern and will become increasingly important in the 21st century,” said Provost Lawrence B. Dumas. “By bringing together researchers from a variety of disciplines under one roof, and then physically linking that building with our other science facilities, we hope to encourage interactions that lead to scientific advances.”

As part of the construction, a landscaped pedestrian walkway that now exists between Pancoe-ENH and the Nanofabrication Center will be extended south to Annenberg Hall.

The new building will occupy a portion of the parking lot just west of the Allen Center, resulting in a loss of approximately 70 parking spaces.  A campus parking planning advisory committee is examining alternatives for adding parking on campus (see related story), including the possibility of an underground parking garage in the area now occupied by the rest of the Allen Center lot.

Fundraising for the Proteomics building is under way, Bienen said. “We have some funding from the federal government and we’re very hopeful that we will have a commitment for a leadership gift for the building in the near future, and we continue to seek additional funding,” he said.

Topics: University News