The University at Buffalo is about to launch a $362 million construction project across its three campuses this summer, beginning the physical work necessary to achieve the goals of the UB 2020 initiative, which aims to make the university one of the top research universities in the nation. The construction work is funded by New York State through previous year’s budgets, as well as through private donations.
Overall, the university expects these projects to have far-reaching impacts on the region as a whole. More than 1,000 construction jobs will be created, with the university estimating that as many as 2,900 new construction jobs could be created through the school’s “Build UB” comprehensive physical plan. Additionally, according to recent studies by the state Division of Budget and the Governor’s Office, every dollar spent on capital construction leads to $5.70 in regional economic activity. Therefore, UB estimates the construction will result in more than $2 billion in regional economic activity.
Each campus will undergo major renovations as part of this spree of construction work. On the downtown campus, a new $118 million Center for Clinical and Translational Research and a Bioscience Incubator will be constructed within a 10-story building already being built on the UB medical campus. According to the university, “[This] construction is an important step forward in the UB 2020 plan to expand UB academic and clinical health science programs in downtown Buffalo.” The downtown campus will also get a new $26 million home for its Educational Opportunity Center, which provides job training and college prep for economically disenfranchised people throughout Western New York.
On the south campus, Kapoor Hall will get a $54 million renovation. Once its completed in 2012, this building will house the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Additionally, Wende Hall, Kimball Hall and Harriman Quad will get updates. The campus will also get $2.4 million in energy-efficient outdoor lights and 70 new security cameras.
North Campus, meanwhile, will receive a $61 million, 130,000-square-foot engineering building, which will include a “clean room” for work with nanodevices and a cybertorium wth smart technologies and flexible research labs. This campus will also get a 5,000-panel solar array, designed to generate clean energy from the sun for students living in the school’s apartment complexes.
(Top photo: The design for the new state-of-the-art engineering building. Other photo: The new Panasci Atrium, which will be located in the new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.)