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The Innovation Lab, a 50,000-square-foot hub that will serve as a home for student innovation, creativity and discovery, will open Monday, Feb. 12. The Innovation Lab will be the first building completed in S&T’s Arrival District. When finished, this district will connect the entry from Interstate 44 to the campus through a series of landscape and building projects. The building will be open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturdays, and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays. During the first week, stop by for a tour of the new building. Tours begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, through Friday, Feb. 16, in the atrium.
The Innovation Lab will host its first event, the spring Graduate School and Career Resource Fair 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14. Students can learn about the graduate degree programs available at S&T and prepare for the Career Fair with a fresh headshot and pre-registration. Register online.
The Innovation Lab sets the stage for increasing experiential learning at S&T with more than 32,000 square feet of programmable spaces designed to support creativity and community building. The Innovation Lab features active learning classrooms, labs designed to encourage and support cross-disciplinary work, the university’s Student Success Center, maker spaces, spaces for collaboration, group or individual study, and a studio equipped for creating digital content.
The design of the new Innovation Lab is inspired by the university’s origin as a school of mines with a rich history and commitment to the study of metallurgy, geology and engineering. The Ozark-clay-colored terra cotta exterior distinguishes itself on campus as the first building in the Arrival District, celebrating the historic clay brick Rolla Building as the university’s original structure.
“The facade bends, folds and projects to engage the campus and intentionally frame views of the Rolla Building,” says Fred Stone, associate vice chancellor of facility planning and operations. “This nod to the institution’s history recognizes and reinforces today’s importance Missouri places on critical minerals for our national security.”
The composition and detailing of the terra cotta exterior is further inspired by vertical projection maps, Stone says. The image below is an example of a vertical projection map. Using a series of vertical and horizontal lines, this map of the Comstock Lode silver mine illustrates how shafts and tunnels connect concentrations of silver ore. Likewise, a series of vertical and horizontal lines in terra cotta on the Innovation Lab connect and frame windows within the overall composition of the south facade. These windows display where students and faculty are mining for ideas.
In April 2022, Missouri S&T broke ground on the building. Speaking at the ceremony was Darryl M. Chatman, former chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, University of Missouri System President Mun Y. Choi, and Chancellor Mo Dehghani. Members of the University of Missouri Board of Curators also participated in the event.
Construction of the Innovation Lab was funded by private gifts, including funds generated by the transformative $300 million gift from June and Fred Kummer in 2020. Fred Kummer was a 1955 civil engineering graduate of Missouri S&T and founder of HBE Corp., a St. Louis-based firm that became a world leader in the design and construction of health care facilities. He also founded the Adam’s Mark Hotels & Resorts. Other Missouri S&T alumni and supporters have provided significant gifts toward the project.