Regents Give Go Ahead For New U-Idaho Research Complex

Tuesday, December 18 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho Board of Regents at its monthly meeting last week in Coeur d’Alene gave the university the go ahead to invest $3.6 million in planning and preparation for the Integrated Research and Innovation Center.

This work will prepare the way for building to begin in 2014 with a target completion date of fall 2016, making it the first academic building constructed in nearly 15 years. The building will significantly upgrade research capacity that has long been limited by space and technology constraints. This will include 52,000-square feet of additional state-of-the-art research space with design features that will allow updating to support interdisciplinary research and meet future research needs over the next 50 years.

The IRIC will not be the permanent home of any department but will house the very best researchers and scientists from the university’s 10 colleges. It will include eight flexible laboratories, two dry lab clusters, two analytical instrumentation core spaces, two imaging computer core spaces, and conferencing space for researchers to work as one unit.

“This approval from the board provides us the funds needed for the preconstruction phase of the project that will provide the preparatory work, blue prints and very accurate cost estimates needed for building,” said Ron Smith, vice president for finance and administration. “Most importantly, this moves us towards expanding our mission as a national research university with the goal of $150 million in research expenditures by 2020.”

Smith also noted the importance of this project to providing student-centered research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.

According to Jack McIver, vice president for research and economic development, this facility will allow researchers to model, simulate and visualize large, diverse data sets through the use of advanced analytical and imaging equipment. This will help grow the catalytic research engine to further benefit the university and the state. Currently, the university pumps more than $1 billion into Idaho’s economy.

“As Idaho’s only land-grant research university, University of Idaho research contributes to the expanding body of knowledge on which our society is built while also benefiting the quality of life for Idaho citizens and people worldwide,” said McIver.

The University of Idaho is ranked among the top 100 public research universities in the country.

The IRIC building is a cornerstone of the university’s current Inspiring Futures Capital Campaign. For more information, visit
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: