UAH’s new engineering building project: 5 things to know

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The UA Board of Trustees gave UAH the green light to build this engineering building that will replace Wernher von Braun Research Hall. (University of Alabama in Huntsville)

An 80,000-square-foot engineering building will soon grace the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The first phase of the new engineering building project received conceptual approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees April 8.

The approval authorizes UAH to formally proceed with planning the construction of the multistory academic and research facility that will accommodate the College of Engineering’s growth.

What the new engineering building means for UAH

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UAH and its engineering students should benefit exponentially from a new engineering building. (Michael Seale/Hville Blast)

The new building should greatly enhance the advanced research and development capabilities of UAH’s faculty, staff and students.

Expanding and enhancing UAH’s engineering facility will advance the university’s flagship program, promote collaborative learning, and foster innovation in fast-growing technical areas that UAH currently supports, such as unmanned aerial systems, big data, hypersonics and artificial intelligence.

“Elevating UAH to reach its highest potential is a top priority of the University of Alabama System and the Board of Trustees. UAH’s transformation is well underway, thanks to the vision of the Board, the leadership of UAH interim president Dr. Chuck Karr and the resounding support from the Huntsville community and local leaders. We are especially grateful to the Alabama State Legislature for supporting this transformative project and passing one of the most significant appropriations in UAH’s history.”

Finis St. John, UA System Chancellor

The nuts and bolts: cost, location, Phase II

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Here is a conceptual view of Engineering Building expansion (Phase 1) from the south entrance of campus on Sparkman Drive. (University of Alabama in Huntsville)

Here are 5 facts about the new engineering building project:

  1. Phase I of the engineering building project includes plans for new construction that will replace Wernher von Braun Research Hall, a building constructed in 1964.
  2. The new facility will be located west of the existing Engineering Building, adjacent to the campus lake along John Wright Drive.
  3. The preliminary project budget of $59.3 million would be funded by a variety of sources, including state appropriated funds, gifts and reserve funds.
  4. The Alabama State Legislature voted to appropriate $18 million of state supplemental funds towards UAH’s engineering building project.
  5. Subject to approval from the UA System Board of Trustees, Phase II of the engineering building project would include plans to fully renovate the existing Engineering Building. All stages of this multi-phased project are subject to Board approval.

“Building on the remarkable momentum in Huntsville, it is critical for UAH to continue fulfilling the region’s educational, workforce and research needs. A new engineering building will help us drive impactful research efforts and recruit and graduate exceptional students that meet the area’s growing high-tech workforce needs. I am grateful for and excited about the opportunity to provide this remarkable facility for our outstanding students, faculty, and staff.”

Dr. Chuck Karr, UAH interim president

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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