The University of Colorado Boulder has broken ground on a new home for the Department of Integrative Physiology. The building will be erected just north of Norlin Library and will function as a long-awaited hub for department activity.
Construction is projected to wrap up in the spring of 2020, with the building fully occupied soon thereafter.
The Department of Integrative Physiology was formed in 2003 by unifying the former department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology (KAPH) with parts of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology. It quickly became one of the largest undergraduate degrees on campus—though the department was never joined physically.
For more than 15 years the department has had no administrative hub and has been running its research, teaching and administration primarily out of Carlson Gymnasium, Ramaley Biology, Clare Small and sites on the CU Boulder East Campus.
“Integrative physiology has been operating an outstanding research program from an old gymnasium for over a decade,” explains James W.C. White, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Providing them with a proper research facility is sure to elicit some truly exciting breakthroughs. This building will create a formal and recognizable administrative home for one of the largest undergraduate degrees on campus that our students can take pride in.”
The longtime dispersion of personnel and activity has detracted from the day-to-day interaction of faculty and students, faculty members say. The new building, which abuts the existing Ramaley building, will alleviate some of the strain caused by this departmental spread, creating a physical “home” for IPHY.
“This new addition will increase visibility and will go a long way towards establishing an identity for integrative physiology on campus”, said Mark Opp, professor and chair of the department.
“Developing a sense of identity is critically important for the department given the distributed nature of the rest of our physical plant.”
In addition to having a unifying function, the new building is intended to bolster the department’s already strong research program. The third floor provides a suite of modern research labs housing five principal investigators, offering advanced facilities that are unavailable in the Main Campus labs housed in Carlson. The second floor will be primarily devoted to clinical research space, and the ground floor will house the administrative core, conference room and faculty offices.
“This $21.8 million building represents a strong investment in the A&S research mission and a wonderful addition to our portfolio of facilities,” said Zack Tupper, the college's assistant dean of infrastructure.
Russell Moore, CU Boulder provost, concurred: “Integrative physiology is a standout department. Its research program is pushing the envelope in translational science, and its teaching program boasts one of the largest undergraduate programs at CU. I’m thrilled to see this addition to the (department's) portfolio come to fruition and eager to see what new breakthroughs in the field of physiology will be developed in this new space.”