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The Prospector

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Interdisciplinary Research Building expected to open its doors by the summer

The+main+entrance+to+Interdisciplinary+Research+Building+will+include+a+lounge+room+that+will+include+tables%2C+chairs%2C+sofas+and+more.+The+lighting+in+various+rooms%2C+such+as+this+one%2C+are+intentional+and+set+to+represent+molecules+of+gold%2C+silver+and+copper.+
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The main entrance to Interdisciplinary Research Building will include a lounge room that will include tables, chairs, sofas and more. The lighting in various rooms, such as this one, are intentional and set to represent molecules of gold, silver and copper.

The wait for the University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) anticipated Interdisciplinary Research Building (IDRB) is almost over. After nearly five years of planning and construction, the IDRB is beginning to come together and is nearly ready to open its doors. 

Work on the landscaping and construction will continue for the months to come. There is no official date for the opening of the building yet, but according to Greg McNicol, UTEP associate vice president for facilities management, the IDRB is looking to be complete by April or the summer of this year.  

In December of 2018, the university was awarded an R1 designation by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Educationofficially labeling it as a top tier doctoral university with high research activity 

The new building is located between the Undergraduate Learning Center (UGLC) and El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center (NGCC) and will provide UTEP students and faculty with a series of labs, large meeting rooms, interview rooms and even a coffee shop.  

With a spending budget of $93.5 million, the IDRB is a large, four-floor building, equipped to help student researchers and faculty through interdisciplinary research.  

The innovative building comprises of many offices, ranging from small study rooms, to large, open-spaced conference rooms with an occupancy of up to 75 people. With an interior made almost entirely of glass, the IDRB gives UTEP a modern touch to its Bhutan-inspired architecture.  

“We want each building to have its own expression of the Bhutan architecture, so we’re not looking for a cookie cutter design, but it has to have the elements,” McNicol said.

Paulina Astrid Spencer may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Paulina Astrid Spencer
Paulina Astrid Spencer is a multimedia journalism student at the University of Texas at El Paso. She works as a reporter at the University’s newspaper, the Prospector, where she writes weekly stories.  This semester she started an internship at Channel 9, where she publishes bylines and stories daily for the web. She is a proud Chicana and has interests in Mexican- American activism and feminism. She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and hopes to incorporate her love of news-reporting and her minor in Chicano Studies in the future. She enjoys spending time with her family, her three mischievous cats and two adorable dogs.
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Interdisciplinary Research Building expected to open its doors by the summer