The University of Arizona is on track to open a $99 million research facility by February 2024.
When Kitchell Contractors Inc. of Arizona is done building it, the 115,000-square-foot Grand Challenges Research Building will be connected to the Meinel Optical Sciences Building.
Located on North Cherry Avenue between East University Boulevard and East Fourth Street, the planned seven-story facility will include study and research spaces, meeting rooms and laboratories, as well as three floors of laboratories and offices designated to help grow the faculty and research initiatives of the James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences.
University leadership — including President Robert Robbins, Provost Liesl Folks and Betsy Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation — met with other dignitaries at the construction site Tuesday morning for a formal groundbreaking ceremony as the building project gets underway.
“Every square foot of the Grand Challenges Research Building has been thoughtfully designed to promote the university’s culture of collaboration and innovation while imparting up-to-the-minute knowledge and developing cutting-edge technology in optics, quantum information science, advanced communications and biomedical technologies,” Cantwell said.
The intended use of the research space will help the UA uphold one of the five pillars of its strategic plan: tackling grand challenges in the areas of “space, human and intelligent systems, natural and built environments, health care technology, and disease prevention and treatment in ways that will fundamentally shape the future.”
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