Interdisciplinary Science Building moves toward spring quarter opening

Western’s newest academic building, the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB), is making good progress toward its expected opening in Spring Quarter 2022. The ISB will feature teaching labs for Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Marine and Coastal Science (MACS), along with flex lab spaces and active learning classrooms.

Classes will be scheduled in labs and general use classrooms during the spring quarter, but construction will continue on level four in two labs, biochemistry and molecular biology, and their associated support space under a separate public works project. The MACS lab will be the only space on level four open for student use during the spring quarter. Completion of the remaining labs is expected in summer 2022.

The project team has begun working through the punch list, which tracks items that need to be finished and deficiencies to be corrected before the project reaches final completion. Public access to the ISB will be limited until work is complete.

Outside the building, the parking lot, which will provide charging stations for electric vehicles, is complete. Planting is underway, and the landscape around the building is beginning to take shape. New trees will include Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar, Shore Pine, Autumn Blazing Maple, and Garry Oak to provide a diverse range of habitat as well as a seasonal aesthetic.

Furniture is arriving and being installed in classrooms, labs, and collaborative spaces. Remaining equipment is expected by the end of January. Flexible spaces will allow for shared use and greater interaction and collaboration among STEM and non-STEM disciplines. The new spaces will support the Washington state goal of increasing STEM graduates, increase opportunities across the STEM fields, and reduce barriers to fulfilling graduation requirements.