Gustavus to Begin Nobel Hall of Science Expansion and Renovation

The $70 million project will nearly double the size of the laboratory science building and create a connection to the Schaefer Fine Arts Center.
Posted on January 29th, 2018 by

A rendering of the renovated Nobel Hall as seen from the north.

Gustavus Adolphus College will begin the expansion and renovation of the iconic Nobel Hall of Science in early February, College President Rebecca Bergman announced today. When the project is completed in 2020, Gustavus science facilities will rival those of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation.

A rendering of the new geochemistry project lab.

The $70 million project, which will nearly double the building’s footprint to 177,300 square feet and completely renovate the existing facilities, received final approval from the Gustavus Board of Trustees on Friday, January 26. Nobel Hall houses the departments of biology, chemistry, geography, and geology along with interdisciplinary programs in biochemistry/molecular biology and environmental studies.

“Academic excellence is at the core of the Gustavus experience,” Bergman said. “This facility is a tangible example of our strong commitment to support state-of-the-art, hands-on learning opportunities and student-faculty collaboration.”

The 74,000 square-foot south expansion will include new laboratories, teaching and study spaces, and connect Nobel Hall with Schaefer Fine Arts Center, creating a laboratory theatre. By pairing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with the Arts, Gustavus is intentionally focusing on the interdisciplinary nature of a liberal arts education. The combination of traditional STEM disciplines with the Arts is consistent with the growing STEAM education movement that produces well-rounded students who are prepared to drive innovation. A 12,400 square-foot north expansion will highlight student/faculty research and showcase the College’s signature event, The Nobel Conference ®, and the College’s living connection with the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.

The proposed south lobby connecting Nobel Hall and the Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

The project will be managed by Kraus-Anderson Construction, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest commercial general contractors and construction managers. The company’s partnership with Gustavus stretches over 40 years and includes the campus reconstruction after the 1998 tornado and recent projects such as Anderson Hall and Beck Academic Hall. Hastings+Chivetta, based in St. Louis, Mo., serves as the architect of record for the project.

Work on the first phase of the project, the Nobel Hall expansion, will commence in early February. Once the expansion is completed in summer of 2019, the existing building will be completely renovated, with the entire project expected to be concluded by the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Our mission compels us to provide students with the skills and experiences they need to lead lives of leadership and service in society,” Bergman said. “Momentum at Gustavus continues to grow thanks to the generosity of our donors, the vision of the Board of Trustees, and the commitment of our talented faculty.”

Nobel Hall Expansion and Renovation Quick Facts:

Existing square footage to be renovated: 90,900
New square footage to be added: 86,400
Total size of completed expansion and renovation: 177,300 sq. ft.
Original Nobel Hall dedication: 1963
Number of teaching labs: 20
Full-time faculty supported: 40+
Amount fundraised: $50 million
Amount financed: $20 million
Total cost of expansion and renovation: $70 million


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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