Brandeis has announced an expansion of the science complex scheduled to begin later this year, according to an article published in BrandeisNOW on Sept. 29. This expansion includes the addition and renovation of approximately 100,000 square feet that will be used for classrooms, wet labs, Maker Lab spaces, and core facilities. The physical expansion of the science complex will pair with the expansion of applied science programs, as it is a main part of the addition of the engineering science program at Brandeis. This new program is anticipated to launch during the 2026-27 academic year and was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2021. As the Brandeis science facilities are expanding, so are the offered programs.

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Future: A generated aerial view of what the Science Complex will look like once construction is completed.

This expansion has been titled Science 2A, as it is the second phase of the Brandeis science facility expansion and renovation project, following the construction of the Shapiro Science Center, which opened in 2009. This new building will be located next to the SSC and will connect to it through the main atrium. The Science 2A building will stand at five stories tall and will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to the BrandeisNOW article, meaning that this building will be accessible to every Brandeis community member. The article continues that 75% of the spaces in the new building will be flexible research labs while the remaining 25% will be used for learning spaces and other various facilities. There will also be Maker Lab spaces on the first floor, expanding on the current Maker Labs located in the Farber Library.

In addition to the construction of a new building, the article explains that this expansion will include both indoor and outdoor renovations. The Science Complex outdoor space, the “Red Square,” will be transformed into a green space with walking paths. As quoted in BrandeisNOW, Ginnelle Lang, director of campus planning, stated “from the accessible pathways from one building to another to the more inviting landscaping, this will be a place to connect.” The Science 2A project will also include the removal of the upper floors of the Edison-Lecks Science Building and a partial renovation of the Gerstenzang Science Library.

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Green Space: The construction plans include a large outdoor area for students and faculty to enjoy.

The Science 2A project is being overseen by a project-sponsored group. This PSG is currently being co-chaired by Provost Carol A. Fierke as well as Stew Uretsky, the executive vice president for finance and administration. Urtesky stated in the article that “by building new space and incorporating and renovating useful existing spaces, this project will sustainably provide a larger home for discovery and collaboration in the sciences … Science 2A will enable our faculty and students to expand their research activities and connect across disciplines.” University President Ron Lebowitz has tasked the PSG with overseeing scheduling, budgeting, programing, and space use guidelines.

Compass Project Management was selected in April 2022 as the Owner’s Project Manager for this project. The architecture firm Payette has also been selected, the same firm that designed the SSC during the first phase of the science complex expansion. The Science 2A project is set to begin construction in late 2023 and projected to last two to three years, totaling to a cost of approximately $145 million. Last spring, the Board of Trustees approved the issuing of a bond to financially support this project, and Brandeis’ Institutional Advancement Division has already begun fundraising to support the expansion.

In the same BrandeisNOW article, University President Ron Liebowitz speaks of his excitement regarding the growth of the Brandeis science community. “Brandeis’ science enterprise is a vibrant, thriving part of the university with growing student demand ... This sweeping new construction project will create a welcoming environment that will meet that demand. One can’t help but be excited after reviewing the plans for this project. I am confident we will see life-changing discoveries — and world-changing scientists — emerge from our revitalized Science Complex.”