Construction is under way on the $68 million Science and Academic Building at the University of Washington Bothell. The new building will house programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It is expected to accommodate more than 1,000 students and increase the number of STEM graduates in the Puget Sound region. Known as "Discovery Hall" it is the first building to be constructed on the UW Bothell campus in 10 years.
About Discovery Hall
In order to meet the increasing demand for a capable, educated workforce, the state of Washington will need to produce an additional 6,000 baccalaureate degrees annually, 2,000 of these from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These findings are according to a recent study of community and business leaders commissioned by the governor.
Recognizing the crucial role a new UW Bothell science and academic building would have in achieving this goal, the state legislature approved funding for pre-design and design phases of the University of Washington Bothell science and academic building (Discovery Hall).
Building on its acclaimed Nursing and Computer Science programs, UW Bothell is building out a suite of STEM degrees to meet the ever increasing demands of UW Bothell students and the community the campus serves. New degrees in biology and electrical engineering have been launched to great acclaim and additional baccalaureate degrees in STEM fields are coming online in the near future.
Current enrollment is approximately 3,800 students; buildings on the UW Bothell campus were originally designed to accommodate only 1,800 students.
UW Bothell is committed to catalyze and support excellence in the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and other core subjects through the creation of an innovative, instructional facility and use of novel technologies." Kenyon S. Chan, Chancellor
Building Facts & Figures
74,000 square foot building which will accommodate 1,000 full-time students
430 classroom seats
11 science laboratories
250 lab seats
200-seat lecture hall.
$62,850,000 construction cost
Energy efficient features:
Solar-heated hot water
Natural and displacement ventilation
Grey water reuse
The surrounding building and landscaping will include an ADA accessible crescent walkway and will create disability access to the upper campus through thoughtful design.
“Faculty and staff have been involved from the very beginning in determining the building’s purpose and design,” says Marilyn Cox, vice chancellor for administration and planning, who is overseeing the project. “It will be the centerpiece of a strong infrastructure that will provide state of- the-art classrooms, equipment and instruction for a competitive, four-year plus graduate STEM curriculum.”
A monument to science and education
When completed, this science and academic building will be much more than a functional space — it will be a virtual “living” monument to science and education. Besides being alive with the activities of students, faculty and researchers, the structure and site will reflect numerous principles of science including the use of ground water for micro-hydro power, and building insulation that mimics the three-part natural insulation of birds.
“At no added cost, just thoughtful design, we will create a harmony of spaces that is active, which is in motion,” says Cox. “Through the construction of our new science and academic building, we are demonstrating our dedication to our students and to meeting the 21st century educational needs of our state.”
Technology Laboratories and Support Spaces
The technology spaces include both teaching and research laboratories and their support spaces. All technology laboratories and support spaces will be accessible. The technology laboratories and support spaces include an electrical engineering laboratory, software development and GIS laboratory, a Software Development Project Room and GIS project room, a devices laboratory, a motion capture studio, usability studio, technology research laboratories, usability observation rooms, and a control room.
General Academic Spaces
A range of classroom spaces is essential to support the teaching of diverse disciplines within Discovery Hall. Moreover, UW Bothell’s culture of inclusiveness and interactivity, results in a high demand for meeting and gathering spaces. In addition to classes and meetings, the university hosts a wide range of activities including student organized functions, music events, guest speakers, among others, that are underserved by the campus’s current spaces. Discovery Hall will include new teaching and gathering spaces that are flexible enough to serve current and projected future needs.
Student Support Spaces
Discovery Hall will include dedicated spaces to study, lounge, access tutoring, and experience art. These student support spaces, open to the entire UW Bothell campus community, and include a student resource room, Teaching and Learning Center Student Support, art display space, and study alcoves for students.
UW Bothell has an active campus community and hosts significant campus events focused on academic program enrichment nearly every day of the year. Discovery Hall will add capacity for such events both inside and outside the building. In addition to expanding capacity, Discovery Hall will commence several important aspects of the campus master plan including: establishing an east-west building orientation, expanding much needed pedestrian hardscape through a connecting plaza, a unifying crescent path, and West Campus Lane serving as emergency vehicle access routes and pedestrian paths.
Discovery Hall will support and enhance the current campus landscape character by maintaining natural site drainage patterns that support the existing landscape including a thriving native woodland, and incorporating new native plantings and some native adaptive ornamental plantings.
Faculty and Staff Offices
Discovery Hall will include two departmentally focused offices suites, one for Science and one for Technology. The offices will likely be located near their respective teaching laboratories on separate floors but may be joined by an internal stair to facilitate collaboration. Each office suite will include faculty, teaching assistants and staff. Research staff will be located near research labs.
Environmental stewardship is an institutional priority and UW Bothell has developed sustainable initiatives for all aspects of the institution including facilities and operations, academic programs, research, student life, and university-community partnerships Examples include a continuing restoration of the thriving 58-acre wetlands, treating stormwater on-site and releasing it to the wetlands, coordinating recycling events with the community, dedicating a transportation coordinator, implementing several energy-saving strategies in existing facilities, purchasing nearly 100 percent green power, supporting a strong campus-wide recycling and composting program, and providing environmental and wetlands-focused programs and research.
UW Bothell is committed to achieving the most sustainable project possible, while delivering the project in concert with overarching project goals and budget. In keeping with the UW Bothell etrepreneurial spirit, the college encourages creative thinking on how to achieve sometimes competing priorities and goals. The university is in the process of establishing more specific sustainability goals for Discovery Hall including the LEED Silver certification or greater target and the version of LEED in which to certify the building.
As part of the UW Climate Action Plan, the project would assist in reducing UW greenhouse gas emissions to meet or exceed the goals passed by the Washington State Legislature in April of 2009, and achieve the UW’s commitment for climate neutrality by 2050.