Science Facilities Project Information


Cornell employed the B|W|B|R architectural firm and the Mortenson Construction Company for this capital project. In collaboration with science faculty and key staff, they finalized plans to construct the Russell Science Center and to renovate West Science and portions of Law Hall to house Cornell’s STEM programs. The design of the spaces and the greater proximity of STEM programs to each other will advance cross-disciplinary collaboration in teaching and student-faculty research, deepening the ways in which Cornell prepares students for graduate or professional study and future careers.

Russell Science Center — new building

The first new academic building constructed on the Cornell College campus in 40 years, Russell Science Center is also Cornell's first academic building designed from the ground up for the block plan. Named in recognition for a lead gift from Cornell Trustee Jean Russell ’65, the approximately 50,000 square foot building became the new home for Cornell’s biology and chemistry programs. This state-of-the-art building contains flexible classrooms and teaching labs, research labs, faculty offices, student study rooms, and informal gathering spaces to facilitate even greater student-faculty interaction. The new building features multi-story glass atrium spaces on both the north and south ends of the building providing a visible beacon for the sciences at Cornell. Construction of the Russell Science Center began in April 2017 and was completed in October 2018. The first day of classes in Russell Science Center was November 26, 2018.

West Science — renovation

The renovation of West Science Hall began in December 2018. The building was reconfigured and updated to accomodate the college’s programs in computer science, physics & engineering, and mathematics & statistics, as well as classrooms for other disciplines. The reconfigured and updated spaces include classrooms, teaching, and research creating spaces for each discipline, creator spaces for Cornell’s new engineering program, and new student study and gathering areas. West Science Hall opened for classes on August 26, 2019.

Law Hall — renovation

Law Hall is now the home of the departments of kinesiology and psychology. Portions of the first floor became a centralized and modern home for Cornell’s growing kinesiology program. The spaces include classrooms, faculty offices, and modern research labs for the study of human movement and exercise. The renovation project began toward the end of the West Science renovation. Law Hall opened for classes on August 26, 2019.

“Through the Science Facilities Project we will attract more students to Cornell; we will be able to provide these students state-of-the-art facilities that show that we are serious about providing an outstanding science education. These students will be well prepared for entry into graduate and professional programs as well as exciting careers in STEM fields furthering Cornell’s fine reputation in science education.”

— Joe Dieker, Dean of the College Emeritus

Joe Dieker