Radford Science & Technology Facility $34M Renovation Planning Approved, Will Advance STEM, Cyber Education and Innovation
Radford University's College of Science and Technology (CSAT) recently received exciting news that a nearly $34 million renovation approved for funding in the 2016 bond package has been authorized to proceed with planning. The project will fund a major renovation of Reed and Curie Halls that will also include, among many substantial updates, a Cyber Security Training and Education Lab (CTEL) for teaching, research, modeling and simulation of cyber threats.
The anticipated $33,882,000, state-funded project will renovate 94,840 square feet of space and provide modern facilities for several of the university's science departments, including geospatial science, biology, chemistry, geology and physics. The renovations will include new teaching and faculty and student research laboratories, engagement spaces for lectures, student support areas, office spaces, and a cybersecurity suite.
The planned renovation comes at a particularly opportune time for CSAT.
For example, the CTEL, along with the Watch Center and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the new College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building that opened this semester, will provide cross-disciplinary opportunities for constituencies across the Commonwealth, including businesses, K-12 teachers and students, law enforcement agencies, public sector administrators, and other organizations.
Radford University students in cyber and information technology disciplines are among the most sought after by industry due to their preparation, as reflected by their strong showing in national level competitions and Radford University’s recent designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Through 2021, Radford will be at the forefront of preparing graduates in cyber security and meeting the evolving demands of cyber security education. Radford is one of only six four-year institutions in Virginia designated as a CAE-CDE institution and is one of only 127 four-year institutions in the country to earn the prestigious national designation.
“This renovation project will significantly benefit our students and faculty to advance both knowledge and research in the sciences, as well as the Commonwealth,” said Radford University Brian O. Hemphill. “The timing also is perfect to contribute to the demands of our state’s future economy given, for example, the stated need for cyber and computer science professionals and Radford’s growing expertise in this area.”
Faculty members in the departments that will be located in Reed and Curie Halls after the renovation have submitted needs analysis documents and will be working closely with the architect and engineering firm selected to design the new spaces.
Reed and Curie halls are contiguous buildings located on the north side of campus. Reed Hall was constructed in 1939 as the original home for the sciences. Curie Hall was built in 1971 and is connected to Reed Hall. Design and construction for the renovation are scheduled to take place over the course of three years.
"We are incredibly excited about the forthcoming enhancements to both science buildings," said CSAT Dean Orion Rogers. "The project solidifies Radford University's commitment to providing the best learning and teaching environments and transforming CSAT into a premier science, technology and mathematics destination. The renovations will create new synergies between faculty and students and provide enhanced research opportunities."
The renovation of Reed and Currie Halls is the latest initiative in an innovative transformation of science and technology education opportunities and facilities at Radford University, and will optimize the use of scarce state resources by modernizing the space to meet the need of current and future students.
In early 2016, the 114,000-square-foot, $49 million Center for the Sciences opened adjacent to Curie Hall. The facility features a state-of-the-art planetarium, the Museum of the Earth Sciences, high-tech classrooms and laboratories, spaces dedicated to student-collaborative learning, and serves as the modern home of the interdisciplinary and innovative Radford University Forensic Science Institute.