BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The brand-new, state-of-the-art STEM facility is a welcome sight for students at the University of Vermont.
"It's been awesome. I really love it in this new facility. In our old building it was kinda small and difficult to move around and really do experiments efficiently," said Katy Czar, a junior.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But the facility will be used for more than just students with those majors.
"More than 90 percent take at least two STEM courses during their undergraduate careers, so this new facility is meant to inspire and motivate those students, as well," UVM Provost David Rosowsky said.
The new STEM complex is going to cost $104 million in total and is on track to be complete in May 2019.
"The STEM complex is enabling us to bring to life innovative, programmatic ideas that we have long planned and have long hoped we could do for our students and faculty, but we quite simply didn't have the facilities to implement," Rosowsky said.
And it's not only meant for college students.
"I like to think of it as kind of an exploratorium where students from across Vermont can visit and plan a day of observing and plan a day of hands-on learning with our faculty and our students," Rosowsky said.
Officials say it's also a way to attract new STEM students whose majors makeup about one-third of undergraduate enrollment and nearly two-thirds of their graduate students.
"We have this brand-new facility with updated technology, the old building was built in the '70s so not really as well inclined to science experiments as this one," Czar said.
Innovation Hall is the last building to be completed. That will feature more state-of-the-art labs, classrooms and research facilities.