GO Bond D to Help Fund Chemistry Renovations
October 13, 2010
Categories: Inside UNM
Reibsomer Hall, home of the Chemistry Department, is one of the greatest building projects and renovation needs at the University of New Mexico. In the last five years, the Chemistry Department at UNM has grown more than 85 percent and contributed significantly to an overall enrollment increase of 11 percent in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Known as the "central science," chemistry provides the foundation for all branches of health, science and engineering. The Chemistry Department at UNM also supports state and national economic development, and partners with Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.
Built in 1969, Reibsomer Hall has needed significant renovation for more than two decades. The problems of the aged building are many. Existing labs and classrooms are simply not designed for modern research instrumentation. Providing state of the art Core Instrumentation is critical to recruiting and retaining faculty and graduate students in the Chemistry Department.
Located in small offices, labs and classrooms, more than 5,000 researchers and students must deal with inadequate cooling, electricity, plumbing and computer data access. Reibsomer Hall is fully utilized with no room for expansion. Additionally, the building does not meet state and federal safety standards for HVAC, air quality and environmental concerns. Secure areas are also needed for hazardous materials including nuclear research.
Complete renovation and expansion will take four phases. Funding of $10 million from Bond D would complete Phase I, which includes modernization of the 40-year-old building to support student enrollment, faculty and student retention, and to provide facilities for 21st Century teaching and research.
This phase establishes core instrumentation laboratories for training undergraduate and graduate students in biomedical sciences. Both floors will be gutted and rebuilt. In addition, a new utilities unit will be constructed in the center of the building that reaches both the second and third floors.
State of the art, core research instrumentation facilities will be located in the renewed portion of the building allowing modern research for 20 faculty and student research groups in Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Chemical Engineering, Biology, Pharmacy, UNM Medical School as well as researchers outside UNM. Subsequent phases of this project involve completing the Chemistry portion of the Science & Mathematics Learning Center and renewing the remaining existing Chemistry building.
The project will be designed and built to a minimum of LEED Silver Standards and satisfy LEED silver energy consumption target reductions.