A centerpiece of Lafayette’s plans for the future, an energy-efficient, cutting-edge Integrated Sciences Center will break ground this May on the edge of the campus’ Anderson Courtyard.

A rendering of the inside of the building looking out at the courtyard

A rendering of the inside of the building looking out at the courtyard

The $75 million facility will fundamentally change how Lafayette combines the liberal arts and sciences by providing spaces for interdisciplinary engagement and room for expansion as the College grows.

A May 11 ceremony is slated, which will feature panel discussions about health, computer science, entrepreneurship, biology, and environmental conservation.

The project, a major component of the College’s $400 million capital campaign, will create a signature building housing the biology and computer science departments and the environmental studies and science programs. It will also be home to the IDEAL Center, the new Center for STEM Education, and the office of the College’s new sustainability director.

In addition, neuroscience, located in Oechsle Hall, will get needed expansion space. Neuroscience majors will have dedicated collaboration space in the building and will take courses there. There will also be a data visualization lab and registrar-assigned classroom space with flexible seating that will encourage novel teaching methods for courses from all disciplines.

The building will be connected physically to the adjacent Acopian Engineering Center, encouraging collaboration between students and professors in the two buildings. A café and ample study spaces will draw in students from the entire campus.

It is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

The 102,000-square-foot, 5-story building on the northwest corner of campus will feature steel, glass, and wood, and yawning windows that will welcome natural light. It will include an open-air patio. Twenty-four trees will be planted, 97 shrubs, and 2,125 garden plantings.

It will be one of the lowest-energy use academic laboratory buildings in the country, and will meet or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Status – one of the highest industry standards for sustainability.