Top View of New Chemical Biology Building

The Pressing Need

The Department of Chemistry is now at a critical juncture. As a result of past success, the program has outgrown obsolete facilities originally built in 1927 and efficiency measures will take us no further. Simply put, existing facilities are unsuitable for 21st century teaching and research. The situation creates far-reaching struggles:

An electronic copy of our building initiative brochure can be found here:
It All Begins with Chemistry

The Building

The new Chemistry/Chemical Biology Building project has two major goals: to provide a centralized home for lower-level undergraduate chemistry instruction and provide state-of-the-art research facilities for faculty and graduate students working in chemical biology and chemical synthesis. The new building will be located on the corner of University Avenue and Buckman Drive, serving as a gateway to campus.

The first and second floors will mainly serve as the undergraduate levels. The first floor will house the general chemistry teaching labs as well as the general chemistry office and advisor's office. The first floor atrium opens upward into the second floor space, connected by an open staircase. The ground floor also provides a lounge area for students. The second floor will be home to the organic teaching labs, a lecture hall, and the majority of the Chemistry Learning Center (CLC). The CLC will serve as a resource to undergraduate chemistry students for advising, tutoring, study sessions, and testing. The CLC will also have a large meeting room on the first floor. General and Organic Chemistry labs will have glass walls, allowing for observation from either floor of the atrium.

The majority of the graduate research space will be located on floors three and four. The chemical biology labs will be located on the third floor, with a single additional bay on the fourth floor. Glass-walled write-up spaces look into the labs from the east and west side. The third floor will also house offices and two conference rooms. The fourth floor will contain the Synthesis lab. Similar to the Chemical Biology labs, glass-enclosed write-up rooms will flank the Synthesis lab on both sides of the laboratory block. The fourth floor will have several offices and shared interaction spaces as well as a conference room.

Top View of New Chemical Biology Building

The Opportunity

The new building will provide approximately 100,000 square feet for state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching laboratories, classrooms, teaching support, graduate research laboratories and offices. This building will serve as the solution that remedies serious problems on the two fundamental fronts:

Teaching

Research

Why Now?

We have a unique opportunity to fund this new building. The Florida legislature has appropriated money for a new chemistry/chemical biology building in the upcoming budget year. We anticipate additional funding next year as well, provided the University of Florida matches the state money for that two-year period.

The challenge is turning this opportunity into reality. To do so, we aim to raise $30 million in private support. UF President Bernie Machen has indicated that this project is a university-level priority and has put the full weight of his office behind it. It is a monumental undertaking that, when successful, will alter the Department of Chemistry at UF forever. President Machen understands that the future of the University of Florida is dependent on a strong science-based core, the space to conduct groundbreaking research, and the very best people dedicated to discovery and learning. President Machen believes that it all begins with chemistry.

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