New STEM Complex Takes Shape
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is the collection of academic disciplines that has been associated with the most promising economic development opportunities — areas from which will come solutions to the greatest challenges we face as a nation, a planet, and a people (water, food, energy, security, health and healthcare). STEM disciplines also promise to be key to providing the most new jobs. In Vermont, Governor Peter Shumlin has called for significant growth in the number of STEM graduates to fill jobs in the state, to help attract new companies to Vermont with the promise of talented and well educated university graduates, and to create new technologies and companies that will create new jobs in the state — in manufacturing, in wind energy, in smart grid technologies, in solar power, in aerospace systems, in biotechnology, in e-commerce, in health-care informatics, and in advanced computing.
The University of Vermont has identified a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Initiative as a high priority, and in spring 2013 the UVM Board of Trustees granted preliminary approval for construction of a STEM Complex, a modern laboratory facility strategically crafted as a combination of new construction and renovation. Taken together, the STEM Complex will comprise a selectively renovated Votey Hall, a new laboratory building, and a new building for classrooms, team-based learning spaces, and offices, totaling more than 266,000 square feet. The STEM Complex will serve as a figurative spine for the Central Campus, bridging the magnificent buildings of University Row to the west, with the health sciences complex to the east, and the Davis Student Center and the residential life areas to the south.