Chemistry, as the central science, is relevant to many other disciplines and is therefore part of the core curriculum of numerous degree programs on campus. By the time they graduate, 55 percent of undergraduates have taken a chemistry class at UW-Madison. As enrollment grew over the years, department and campus leaders noticed that students were often not able to schedule needed courses. This meant it took them longer to earn a degree.
Many students who wanted to enroll in laboratory courses were unable to because of space constraints and failing equipment in the chemistry building complex. In addition, the department has struggled to manage chemical storage facilities and to maintain proper ventilation in an aging facility. The storage and use of chemicals and the creation of byproducts require efficient and effective ventilation, as well as two entry and exit points to each room, to keep students, faculty and staff safe.
The two-phase Chemistry Building Project, which will begin in the fall of 2018, starts with the addition of a new nine-story tower, to house lecture halls, an information commons, offices, teaching laboratories, and group write-up spaces for undergraduate teaching labs. The second phase of the project involves renovation of the basement, first floor, and second floor of the Daniels wing. These floors house teaching laboratories, classrooms, and undergraduate student services spaces.
These additions and renovations will impact the Department of Chemistry and its students, as well as students from numerous other disciplines, including: medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, veterinary medicine, biotechnology, engineering, and biology. Students will have access to active learning spaces and write-up rooms for the laboratory reports they currently complete while sitting on hallway floors.
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Chemistry Department crafts the first, comprehensive ‘Issue Statement’ that documents the size and scope of the chemistry instructional program and provides a critical assessment of the facilities requirements of the program.
Preliminary studies establish that the site of the existing two-story portion of the Daniels building is not large enough to construct a new building that address the requirements of the chemistry instructional program
Acquisition of property, contiguous to the existing chemistry building, makes an addition to the chemistry building a feasible option
Chemistry Building Instructional Project approved as a top campus priority by UW-Madison Campus Planning Committee
Master Planning Project for chemistry instructional facilities (18 months)
Governor’s office recommends UW-Madison move forward with the Chemistry Building Project’s design phase
State of Wisconsin approves $107.8 million project and commits $86.2 million in State funding
State Building Commission approves revised budget of $133.1 million and authorizes solicitation of construction bids
Partial Move Accomplished We have started to move! On Monday, July 26 movers from C. Coakley transferred all of the equipment, instruments, and glassware that support analytical chemistry instruction from their temporary quarters Medical Sciences …
Earliest Move-in Is Late August Two weeks ago we reported that move-in to the new tower had been postponed because elevators in the new tower had failed their pressurization test. We now have a tentative …
“Our department is world class in research, it’s world class in research related to chemistry education, yet we don’t have the facilities to implement the very techniques that are developed in this department.”
Bob McMahon Former Department of Chemistry Chair
Enhance degree programs important to the Wisconsin economy, such as medicine, biotechnology, engineering, chemical and biological science, and health sciences
Accommodate greatly increased student demand for courses in STEM disciplines
Incorporate modern safety practices and safety training
Implement modern instructional techniques
Expanded and renovated general chemistry labs
New organic, analytical, physical, undergraduate research project, and advanced synthesis labs
New lecture rooms and a flexible active learning classroom
Student support space for undergraduate advising
Transformation of the Chemistry Library into an information commons
Crucial upgrades to existing air supply and exhaust systems
Safety upgrades for the building complex (fire sprinklers, fire alarm, building security)