Interdisciplinary Research Building expected to open its doors by the summer


File photo

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.

Paulina Astrid Spencer, Staff Reporter

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]