University Facility Fee Advisory Board approves Chemistry Building renovations

The Colorado State University Facility Fee Advisory Board has accepted the Department of Chemistry’s proposal to create new lab spaces on the third floor of the Chemistry Building. The renovation is the largest non-bonded project that CSU students have funded through the UFFAB program.

This renovation will positively impact many students at CSU, as nearly two-thirds of all students take at least one chemistry class while at the university.

The approved project includes two spaces, B311 and B313, which are currently teaching spaces that house foundational undergraduate lab courses. Completion of the new project will mean that over 5000 square feet in the Chemistry Building will be devoted to undergraduate experiential learning; enhancing the teaching and learning environment the students operate in by creating open concept, modern laboratory spaces.

B311 will become an open concept laboratory space to house instrumentation, new chemical hoods, preparatory benches and computer workstations. The space will support the upper division, instrument-intensive courses like instrumental analysis, physical chemistry, and elective lab courses.

B313 will be transformed into preparatory and characterization spaces to support foundational undergraduate laboratory courses including Foundations of Modern Chemistry, Foundations of Analytical Chemistry, and a new course – Chemical Biology Lab. The preparatory space will be equipped with new chemical hoods and will house refrigerators, freezers, ice machines, glassware, analytical balances and an electronics bench to support the lab courses.

“When combined with existing recent department renovations, this project will establish over 5000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities for undergraduate laboratory instruction,” said Alan Kennan, associate chair of the Department of Chemistry. “The combined space will house all the current chemistry major lab offerings and will accommodate additional courses to be developed in the near future as the overhaul of the major curriculum is completed.”

The chemistry department will be introducing four new concentrations for Fall 2022, so the renovations are well-timed. The new concentrations will be Forensic Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Health Sciences and Sustainable Chemistry. These new concentrations are American Chemical Society certified and will offer students the opportunity to study the type of chemistry that interests them.

By creating the open concept, modern laboratory spaces for undergraduate curriculum, the chemistry department will enhance the teaching and learning environment for students. Flexibility and modularity will enable rapid pivoting needed to develop experiential learning opportunities in a variety of fields, from materials to medicine.