The results of the Schematic Design Phase for the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) building planned for ECC’s North Campus have been unveiled. The approximately 57,000 square foot building is slated to be built on Youngs Road at ECC’s North Campus, despite outcry from urban proponents that felt that it would behoove the college to build a more concentrated campus in downtown Buffalo. ECC has identified the development as a “technology” building, which many found to be a perfect fit with the city’s vision for tech start-ups that are currently underway at the Medical Campus. ECC’s city campus is a short walk from the Metro Rail, meaning that the campus could have easily been linked to a number of other higher ed facilities including University at Buffalo South Campus, Medaille, Canisius and the UB Medical Campus. Even UB’s medical school is moving downtown in 2017 to be a part of a uniform effort to create a medical and tech driven urban core.
“This is an extremely important development, one we’ve worked on with our county partners for a very long time,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “With these architectural renderings and planned spring groundbreaking, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Western New York needs to continue to expand its science, technology, engineering and math capabilities. This STEM-focused academic building and ECC’s career-focused courses will enable such training for our students and, in turn, further enhance Erie County’s future with a home-grown workforce.”
The building will feature labs, prep rooms, support spaces for ECC’s Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Engineering Science programs, shared instructional spaces, collaborative study spaces, a tutoring center, faculty offices and a small café with an outdoor seating area.
According to a press release sent out by ECC:
The campus, largely untouched since its inception the 1950s and 60s, has recently been identified as eligible for National Register historic status. As a result, the design of the STEM Building has been developed to be sensitive to the scale and materials of the existing campus buildings, and to be respectful of the original campus plan. Improvements to the existing campus quad will include a paved entry plaza with integrated seating elements, walkways to connect important nodes and destinations within the quad, and additional landscaping to reinforce a sense of place.
ECC and Kideney Architects are going for LEED Silver certification for the project, which is anticipated to break ground in May of 2016 with completion goal set for September of 2017.