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A&S, Messer 'Top Off' Academic Science Building

By Whitney Harder

(Aug. 6, 2015) — University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, together with its design and construction partners, JRA Architects and Messer, hosted a “topping off ceremony” yesterday to mark the securing of the last and uppermost beam atop the new Academic Science Building (ASB). The ceremony signifies completion of the structural phase of the three-story, $112 million project.

Those in attendance included College of Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Lawrence Kornbluh, Messer Operations Vice President Mark Hill and many Messer and College of Arts and Sciences employees working on the ASB. Held inside the building, attendees could see first-hand the progress being made on the building, in addition to signing the construction beam.    

"This is an exciting step for undergraduate education and research for the college and for the university," Dean Kornbluh said. "This building is going to be transformative for teaching science on this campus. It will be a place where every student on campus will take their science classes; where every student who is a STEM major will spend time doing and experiencing science."

Construction began on the ASB in fall 2014. Scheduled to open in fall 2016, the building’s design places integrated, engaged learning as its centerpiece.

The ASB project will be a three story laboratory building located on the 600 block of Rose Street between Hilltop Avenue and Huguelet Street. Including the partial basement and the penthouse space above the third floor, the building will have a floor area of approximately 240,000 square feet.

Plans for the upcoming ASB emphasize environmental responsibility, utilizing natural light, outdoor teaching areas and rainwater recycling. But the value of the ASB's design extends far beyond its construction — the innovative lecture halls and classrooms inside will help the College of Arts and Sciences realize its vision of improving science education through exciting new models of engaged in-class teaching. The teaching space in the ASB will be composed of next-generation lecture halls and groundbreaking TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) classrooms. 

To find out more about the Academic Science Building, visit There you can find more details, news stories, renderings and videos, and a live webcam of the progress of building construction.

To view the photo album, visit