The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) recently announced it received conceptual approval for the first phase of a new engineering building. The approval, by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, comes on the heels of the State’s recent budget appropriation.
This initial approval authorizes UAH to formally proceed with planning the construction of an 80,000-square-foot, multistory academic and research facility. The project will accommodate the College of Engineering’s growth and greatly enhance the advanced research and development capabilities of UAH’s faculty, staff and students.
“Elevating UAH to reach its highest potential is a top priority of the University of Alabama System and the Board of Trustees,” said UA System Chancellor Finis St. John. “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.”
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. The new facility will be located west of the existing Engineering Building, adjacent to the campus lake along John Wright Drive.
The Phase I preliminary project budget of $59.3 million would be funded by a variety of sources, including state appropriated funds, gifts and reserve funds. The Alabama State Legislature voted to appropriate $18 million of state supplemental funds towards UAH’s engineering building project.
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,” said UAH interim president Dr. Chuck Karr. “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.”
According to the University, The College of Engineering plays a pivotal role in driving economic development and supporting high-tech industry, space and defense needs. The powerful synergy between UAH, Redstone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park forms the hub of the southern technology corridor. With a rapidly expanding technological industry, Huntsville has one of the most technical workforces in the U.S. and one of the highest numbers of engineers per capita.
Additionally, 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.
Be sure to check back for the official launch of CityNowNext.com! For more development news check out nashvillenownext.com.