Yost is almost toast

University plans for a new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building may mean the demise of Yost Hall, the home of the math and statistics departments and numerous campus offices, including financial aid and the registrar.

The building would be torn down and replaced with a new 73,000-square-foot center intended to provide more laboratory and research space for engineering and science. The building, which was included in the 2013 Strategic Plan and in the campus master plan, is intended to “provide critically needed space and equipment for research and education,” according to a university spokesperson.

“Its design will encourage interaction among faculty and students from multiple disciplines, which we hope will foster rich discussions and, ultimately, compelling collaborations,” said the university spokesperson.

In addition to wet, dry and computational research laboratories, the building would include a 200-seat auditorium, two 80-seat classrooms and two 30-seat active learning classrooms.

The new building is estimated to cost $60 million, which would be funded through donations and grants, not through student tuition. The start of construction on the building is contingent on finished designs and blueprints, as well as reaching the university’s fundraising goal.

“We do believe it is an exciting project and hope that it will appeal enough to potential supporters that we are able to complete fundraising in a timely way,” said the spokesperson. “Nevertheless, fundraising for a project of this size is unlikely to happen within a few months. The process of engaging, educating and inspiring donors typically involves more than one conversation and cannot be rushed.”

Yost, which was built in 1951, is “not considered one of the university’s most optimal structures,” according to the spokesperson, making it the ideal space to replace with the proposed new building. There are currently no plans in the works for relocating the offices now in Yost, since planning for the new building is still in its “earliest stages.”

“The occupants of that building, and the larger campus community, will be updated regarding plans for that building, and the proposed Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building as plans become more concrete,” said the university spokesperson.

Additional reporting by Ashley Chan, Public Relations Manager