During a 2011 Legislative Special Session, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and the State Legislature approved $51.3 million in bonding funds for an Experimental Physics and Nanotechnology Building at the University of Minnesota.
In addition to the $51.3 million, the University of Minnesota received $4 million in planning money for the Experimental Physics and Nanotechnology Building during the 2010 Legislative Session. The remainder of the project that is estimated to top $80 million total will be paid by the University and private donations. Construction on the new building is expected to begin in fall 2011.
Highlights of the building include more than 43,000 square feet of modern and highly flexible physics laboratory and laboratory support space and more than 15,000 square feet of nanotechnology space (including a 5,000-square-foot clean room designed for class-100 chip fabrication and class-1000 bio-nano work). All told, the facility will contain 40 new research laboratories.
The physics and nanotechnology building will house 200 faculty, post doctorate and graduate students, and visiting researchers. Dedicated meeting and discussion space throughout the building will be allocated for student interaction with faculty.
The project site is located adjacent to the existing engineering and science buildings on campus allowing close connection to other University of Minnesota science and engineering disciplines. The building also will be directly north of the Scholar’s Walk, a vibrant pedestrian walkway connecting the campus from the east to west. Views into the building, even into the Nano Cleanroom, could create an open, inviting, and interesting type of "science on display" for the University. The building and program can also be physically accessible to the public throughout the day, allowing a shortcut or pathway during inclement weather.
Preliminary sketch by Architectural Alliance and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects