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Breaking Ground

Introducing the New STEM Building

conceptual rendering of new STEM building
Credit: Ballinger/Quinn Evans Architects

The College of Humanities and Sciences received good cause to celebrate this May. Gov. Ralph Northam signed the state budget, which included funding for a new $121 million, 169,000 square-foot, six-floor building dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math education at the College. The building, which will house teaching lab, classroom and office space will be built at the site of the Franklin Street Gym, which is slated for demolition starting in spring 2020.

“The new STEM facility will provide a state-of-the-art learning, research and collaboration space in a location that is in the heart of the student community,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.

The building is expected to open in spring of 2023 and will support anthropology, biology, chemistry, forensic science, kinesiology and health sciences, mathematics and applied mathematics, physics, psychology, statistical sciences and operational research, and the interdisciplinary science program students.

The new building is much needed. The College annually awards more than 1,500 degrees in STEM disciplines, and more than 15,000 students take STEM classes in the College each year. But space has been an issue on the campus for a number of years. Lab usage on campus exceeded 80 percent of optimal usage, according to data as of October 2018. Introductory biology labs saw 129 percent of optimal usage, while physics labs saw 120 percent lab usage and introductory chemistry and organic chemistry saw 116 percent.

By adding lab and classroom space, the STEM building will make it easier for College of Humanities and Sciences students to get the required courses and labs for their majors, thereby reducing attrition and improving the number of STEM graduates.

To learn more about giving opportunities in the sciences, please contact one of our gift officers.


During my time at VCU, my passion for the sciences has increased exponentially, and I have explored levels of curiosity I didn’t think possible. I now plan on continuing to study chemical education in graduate school.

Double major in chemistry and Spanish
Class of '20
"The College of Humanities and Sciences is committed to excellence in science teaching, research and education. Investments in the sciences at VCU ensure students and faculty can flourish in these fields through access, discovery, collaboration and innovation."

Don Young, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biology
Interim Dean, College of Humanities and Sciences