Construction of new UH Hilo Science and Technology Building 70% complete

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642
Director, Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Feb 4, 2010

The new University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Science and Technology Building is on schedule for completion by the end of October 2010, according to Dr. Debra Fitzsimons, vice chancellor of administrative affairs. Seventy percent of the overall construction is finished, with the roof to be completed by the end of February, after which work on the interior will begin.

“Within the next couple of months, the public will see a major transformation of the structure as windows and doors will be in place by the end of March, and the exterior finish will be in process,” Fitzsimons noted.

The physics, astronomy, and chemistry departments and staff will move into the $28 million 41,560 square-foot structure. There will be over 17,000 square feet of new classrooms, laboratories, and research space. The grand lobby on the first floor will have areas for gatherings and displays. Twenty-six faculty offices are located throughout the building and research rooms will contain state-of-the-art equipment for physics, astronomy, and chemistry research projects.

“Students majoring in the sciences have long endured outdated equipment and lab facilities that are remnant of the 1950s and 60s,” Fitzsimons said. “The size and number of classrooms dedicated to the sciences are too few and the inadequacies of the utilities and technology support systems for the various science disciplines are insufficient to meet program needs.”

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Randy Hirokawa says he cannot wait for the completion of the Science and Technology Building. “The laboratory facilities in Wentworth Hall (the current home of the astronomy, chemistry, and physics departments) are obsolete and in dire need of upgrading,” he said.

Hirokawa added that the labs in the new Science and Technology Building will provide UH Hilo students with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities that will rival any in the country.

“Our students deserve these state-of-the-art facilities. We are tremendously excited for the completion of this new building with top-notch facilities and technology,” he said.

“It will bring UH Hilo’s science disciplines into the 21st century, enabling our graduates to be highly competitive at the graduate school level and in the work force,” Fitzsimons added.