UCO Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center

University of Central Oklahoma STEM Teaching and Research Center

Edmond, OK

Scope: Approximately 56,000 SF
Projected Completion: Fall 2018


Description: The Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Research Center is a new project that builds on established and growing programs within the University of Central Oklahoma’s College of Math & Science. The project focus is on constructing space that allows for enhanced student participation in both research and simulated work environments. In addition, there is a directed emphasis placed upon interdisciplinary interaction amongst both students and faculty. The project is a newly constructed facility on the UCO campus of approximately 56,000 gross square feet.

Programs located in the STEM Teaching and Research Center will include:
• Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education & Research
• Forensic Science Institute & Molecular biology
• Center for Research and Education Interdisciplinary Computation
• Nursing
• Math & Computer Science Collaborative Research Suite
• Interdisciplinary Shared Learning Space

“Then and Now”
We call the architectural concept for the UCO STEM Teaching and Research Center “Then and Now.” Then refers to Thatcher Hall and is respectful of all the historic buildings on the UCO campus. Now speaks to today and the future.  It confirms that UCO is looking forward. You may be surprised when you see a building on campus that illustrates both ideas. In fact, we want you to be surprised. The building should exceed your expectations and suggest “new thinking.”

Collaboration is the key word in the design of the STEM building. We think of science and math as an abstract puzzle and the interlocking of the team in pursuit of a solution. “Clues” are hidden in plain sight, sometimes appearing, sometimes disappearing. A “thread” appears through the building suggesting the search for solutions. Glass walls offer a view of the teaching and research activity going on inside, engaging and exciting students. Transformative Learning classrooms with moveable furniture and high-definition displays provide collaborative and flexible spaces that adapt to each discipline’s needs.

We plan for light that will come into the building in new ways. An interior atrium slices through the building 36’ high and skylights fill the space with ever-changing reflective energy creating a sense of surprise and a connection to the outside. At dusk the corner “jewel box” starts to glow as if it contains the solution waiting to be found.