Builders Rise to the Challenge at Tucson Research Facility

Article from Engineering News-Record

Crews assemble prefab skin to expeditiously construct the Grand Challenges Research Building on a tight site at the University of Arizona

The Grand Challenges Research Building

When it comes to getting a leg up in the race to attract research grants and top scientific talent, universities task designers and builders with providing as much pow for the punch as possible on their new facilities. To that end, the team behind the University of Arizona’s $99-million Grand Challenges Research Building endeavors to wrap up a seven-level lab structure that will house around a half-dozen different cutting-edge functions and programs in an extremely tight footprint within just 2.5 years.

To achieve these goals, the team is relying on the efficiency of a prefabricated facade system as well as astute anticipation of supply chain issues that have snarled many other projects around the U.S. They also enlisted the help of a little robot to shave days off mundane carpentry tasks.

Read the full story at this link.

Kitchell’s role in the new facility known as the ‘academic heart’ of ASU

ASU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences recently rebranded itself as “The College,” a name that reflects what ASU President Michael Crow calls the “core of the core of the core” of the institution, which is home to traditional post-secondary disciplines: history, philosophy, political science, chemistry, physics and English. And Kitchell’s role in this new “academic heart” of the institution was facilitating a major remodel of the home of The College – Armstrong Hall – a building that the University originally thought would be torn down.

Armstrong Hall, first-floor rotunda (courtesy ASU)

“Kitchell turned this old building into a wonderful facility for staff and students,” said CLAS Dean Patrick J. Kenney about the transformation of Armstrong Hall at a thank you event in January. “They should be recognized as miracle workers!”

The complete renovation included all of the building interior: plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc. and the courtyard area. The first floor was completely transformed encompassing nearly 46,000 square feet of remodeled space focused entirely on student success, with academic advising and a student services hub. The second floor houses the Dean’s office and administration.

Kitchell Superintendent Art Haydu with the late U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor

The building was formerly home to ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor Law School, which relocated to downtown Phoenix in 2016. During construction Kitchell was asked to give a private tour to law school alumnus and late Congressman Ed Pastor. KCI Project Superintendent Art Haydu was fortunate to escort Pastor on the private tour. He was amazed at the transformation and shared many stories of his law school days.

See a video about the rebranded college here: