Interdisciplinary Science Building Groundbreaking Draws Crowd

SJSU celebrated the historic groundbreaking for the Interdisciplinary Science Building April 25. Photo by Josie Lepe

SJSU President Mary A. Papazian speaks about the vision for a Science Park during the groundbreaking. (Photo by Josie Lepe)

San Jose State University celebrated the historic groundbreaking of a new Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) today – the first new academic building in more than 30 years and the first new science facility in nearly 50 years – with hundreds of people turning up for the event. The building is the first phase of a planned Science Park that will push the boundaries of the traditional science education model that will make teaching, research and collaboration inseparable.

“The breadth of discovery and research in the Interdisciplinary Science Building will be astonishing,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “The College of Science will rightly take its place among the most modern and innovative science colleges in the Bay Area, and indeed, the country.”

During the ceremonial groundbreaking, Papazian said the ISB will be both functional and symbolic.

“It will symbolize our growing bond and ongoing synergies with Silicon Valley and the tech industry,” she said. “It will symbolize our connection to the City of San Jose and to the entire region. It will symbolize who we are and what we want to be known for at San Jose State University.”

Michael Kaufman, the dean of the College of Science, shares how the new building will integrate teaching, research and collaboration. (Photo by Josie Lepe)

In his remarks, College of Science Michael Kaufman described the three existing buildings that house departments from the College of Science as having “163 years of experience” – the Science building, which opened in 1957, MacQuarrie Hall which opened in 1965 and Duncan Hall, which was completed in 1972.

“When these were built, classrooms were designed to be faculty-centric and static,” he said. “There were few spaces for students to interact outside of a traditional classroom, and research space was largely an afterthought.”

The eight-story, $181 million ISB, which will be funded using California State University systemwide revenue bonds, will house chemistry and biology teaching and research lab spaces, an interdisciplinary Center for High Performance Computing and a data and science information lab for the College of Professional and Global Education. Adjoining research labs the building will have “collaboratories” that recapture hallway spaces to allow student research teams to gather away from instrument setups and chemicals to present and discuss results. In addition, the building will have collaborative hubs on every floor for students and faculty to work together.

“Research is a fundamental part of higher education, but as my fellow scholars know well, its value extends beyond new knowledge,” Kaufman said. “When involved in research, our students build practical skills and work to solve some of our biggest disciplinary and interdisciplinary problems.”

The College of Science serves 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in the disciplines of biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and statistics, marine science, meteorology and climate science, physics and astronomy, and science education. Of the student population, 45 percent are women, and 1 in 5 are from traditionally underrepresented groups.

“By engaging in hands-on research, we provide students with the opportunity to move beyond theory, develop collective ideas in the classroom, and apply it to open-ended problems that push the frontiers of their fields and help solve societal problems,” he said.

Krista Wirth,’ 17 biological sciences, minor in chemistry, who is now a lecturer in the College of Science and served on the ISV advisory team as a student representative, shared a student’s perspective.

Krista Wirth, ’17 biological sciences, minor in chemistry, who is now a lecturer at SJSU, shares some remarks during the groundbreaking April 25.  (Photo by Josie Lepe)

“I joined the building planning committee because my experience as a student at SJSU in science paved the way for my future,” she said. “I joined the Spartan community as a first-generation college student, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or how to do it.”

Her experience with scientific research with Associate Professor of biology Shelley Cargill empowered her in discovering her interests and in shaping her ambitions.

Wirth served on the advisory team with graduate student Anthony Balistreri, who has since graduated and gone onto a PhD program at the University of Michigan. They advocated for research and collaboration, and sustainable and environmentally-friendly design.

“It was important to us to include student-centered collaboration spaces—spaces where students could study, exchange ideas, find inspiration, and use science to tackle all sorts of issues,” Wirth said. “We wanted state-of-the-art learning spaces that would empower Spartans with knowledge and skills to support their success here at SJSU and in their journeys thereafter.

At the event, representatives from the offices of Assemblymember Evan Low, an SJSU alumnus, Assemblymember Ash Kalra and Congressmember Zoe Lofgren presented Papazian and Kaufman with congratulatory resolutions.

 

San Jose State University Celebrates Historic Groundbreaking on Interdisciplinary Science Building

Media contact:

Robin McElhatton, SJSU Media Relations Specialist, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

San Jose, Calif. — San Jose State University will celebrate the historic groundbreaking for its new Interdisciplinary Science Building on Thursday, April 25, at 10 a.m. on the university’s campus in front of Duncan Hall.

The first new academic building in 30 years, the Interdisciplinary Science Building construction is the first phase of the university’s new Science Park, part of San Jose State’s commitment to dynamic research and innovation environment in the heart of Silicon Valley.

“The breadth of scientific discovery and research that will take place at the ISB and our future Science Park will be astonishing,” said SJSU President Mary Papazian. “It will truly put us on the map, and we will rightly take our place among the most modern and innovative of all science colleges in the Bay Area and, indeed, the country.”

San Jose State’s research endeavors play a critical role in preparing graduate and undergraduate students who work side by side with faculty mentors. With $60 million in annual research expenditures, SJSU is a top-200 school nationally in terms of research spending. The university’s 33,000 students—including approximately 7,600 graduate students —bring an inherent creativity and diversity of thought and experience that can address and solve the most pressing problems facing society today.

“San Jose State has been meeting the needs of our region since our founding 160 years ago,” said Paul Lanning, vice president for university advancement. “The vision for the Science Park—and the impact it will have for our students and faculty—is unparalleled in SJSU’s history.”

“Our goal is to make research, teaching and collaboration inseparable,” said Michael Kaufman, College of Science dean. “The Interdisciplinary Science Building will be a huge leap forward in San Jose State’s ability to provide modern research experiences and enhanced faculty mentoring opportunities for our students.”

An artistic rendering shows what the Interdisciplinary Science Building will look like in 2021 when it is completed.

An artistic rendering shows what the Interdisciplinary Science Building will look like in 2021 when it is completed.

The Interdisciplinary Science Building will have eight floors of modern science laboratories and research facilities, as well as collaborative, flexible learning environments. The building will be home to chemistry and biology teaching and research spaces, an interdisciplinary Center for High Performance Computing, data and information science labs, and science administration. Each floor will seamlessly integrate teaching and research. Students who move through these programs will graduate with the theoretical background, hands-on skills and collaboration experience necessary to succeed in industry and advanced studies.  

Following the ceremonial groundbreaking and program, attendees can see the future of SJSU science firsthand at the College of Science 15th Annual College of Science Student Research Day, located nearby in the Duncan Hall breezeway. More than 100 student-faculty teams will present original work in all science disciplines. In addition, SJSU’s Celebration of Research will take place 3 – 6 p.m. April 23 in the Diaz Compean Student Union Ballroom.

Complete ISB groundbreaking event information may be found at sjsu.edu/sciencepark.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study—offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

First Steps in A.S. House Relocation Start

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

The Associated Student (A.S.) House, seen in the background, will be relocated to Tenth Street in January. Photo: David Schmitz

SJSU Media Relations:
Robin McElhatton, 408-924-1749, robin.mcelhatton@sjsu.edu

Following approval by the California State University Board of Trustees for the design of an eight-story high rise Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB) in September that will be built in front of Duncan Hall, Facilities Development and Operations has started preparation for breaking ground this spring on the first new academic building in decades.

One of the first steps to prepare the area will be relocating the Associated Student (A.S.) House from its existing location to the eastern part of campus in a space that is currently used as a parking lot off Tenth Street.

“This has been a long process and I am thrilled about the design, location and cooperation that all disciplines have worked very hard to achieve,” said Charlie Faas, vice president for Administration and Finance.

Associated Student marketing, events and human resources departments have moved to temporary workspaces in the Student Services Center on Tenth Street. Blach Construction began preparation work November 3 for moving the A.S. House that will include attaching beams to the foundation of the house, designing a frame for it and putting wheels on it. Around December 20, additional work will include disassembling the campus gates on San Carlos and Fourth streets as well as San Fernando and Ninth streets, along the route to the new location for the house.

The house is scheduled to be moved on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The campus and Blach Construction team will work with the City of San Jose, PG&E, Comcast, and Bill Brown Contractor to move traffic lights and disconnect overhead utilities during the move, which is anticipated to take six to eight hours. A consultant is working on a traffic plan as well.

Parking Lot 4, located near the Boccardo Business Complex, will be partially closed starting November 12, so the contractor can begin preparing the site for the move and will also be closed the day of the move. There will be 59 spaces lost in Lot 4 permanently once the A.S. House is relocated. The handicap parking area behind the A.S. House will be closed beginning November 12. Additional handicap spaces will be relocated to the South Parking Garage.

Parking Lot 13, located between Duncan Hall and the West garage will be closed, beginning April 15, 2019, when McCarthy Building Company will start mobilizing for construction on the ISB.

The ISB project primarily will serve San Jose State’s College of Science, which currently enrolls more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students in programs for biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, mathematics and statistics, meteorology and climate science, physics and astronomy, and science education. The college also administers the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.

“San Jose State University’s new Interdisciplinary Science Building will provide essential teaching, research and collaboration space for our STEM students, extending learning beyond the classroom. In addition, the building will enhance our growing partnerships with industry leaders in Silicon Valley,” Dean Michael Kaufman said.


About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San Jose State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.