Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory Facility










Construction Updates

Update: September 2024: 

In collaboration with the College of Science and Engineering, we welcomed state officials and University dignitaries to the official Kickoff event for the construction project! We're thankful for our partners at the college, University, and Minnesota State Government who have supported us in making this critical project a reality. Honored guests included Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and University of Minnesota Interim President Jeffrey Ettinger.

Two photographs from the Fraser hall renovation kickoff event

Above Left: Chemistry students and Interim President Jeffrey Ettinger kickoff construction outside Fraser Hall; Above Right: Gov. Tim Walz delivers remarks at the event.

Update: June 2023

The Minnesota legislature passed an infrastructure bill on May 22nd that includes two-thirds of a $144 million renovation of Fraser Hall. The remainder will be covered by private donations and University funds. See below new architectural models of what the interior of the renovated building will look like – we're looking forward to teaching in the new space in Fall 2025!

Architectural mockups for Fraser Hall - study space and lab

Above Left: Design for study space; Above Right: Design for new teaching laboratories

Update: January 2023

University of Minnesota undergraduate student Mustafa Syed testified in front of the Minnesota House and Senate Capital Investment committees in St. Paul in late January. Syed is an undergraduate senior, testifying in support of the Department of Chemistry’s proposed Undergraduate Chemistry Teaching Laboratory Building. Read more about Mustafa's testimony or watch the recording on YouTube.

Update: October 2020

The Chemistry Teaching Laboratory Building is nearing the end of the schematic design phase, where fundamental decisions are made regarding the labs and support space. The Bonding Bill, approved by the State Legislature in October 2020, included $3.286 million for the project. It funds the last two planning phases, design development and construction drawings, to be completed by late spring 2021. This will enable the project to be shovel ready as soon as full construction funding is secured in a future state bonding bill.

About the project

The proposed Chemistry Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories will replace, improve, and consolidate outdated general and organic chemistry teaching laboratories and support spaces, currently in Smith and Kolthoff Halls, to Fraser Hall on the East Bank campus.

The project will remove circa-1954 building additions, renovate the remaining existing 1928 Fraser Hall, and construct a new addition with penthouse. The total project includes renovation of approximately 30,370 GSF and 91,350 GSF new construction, for a total project area of 121,720 GSF:

  • Renovated and new spaces will include: seven general chemistry, four life sciences, and seven organic chemistry teaching labs with associated student collaboration and prep/storage
  • Tutoring and informal student collaboration, professional offices
  • Renovated general purpose classrooms
  • Future nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) space
  • Loading, storage, and operational support spaces
  • Existing mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems will be replaced.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development projects significant continued growth in employment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related fields, and chemistry and chemistry-related are in-demand for many occupations in the state. The chemistry laboratory project will help address that demand.

Hands-on laboratory courses build skills in a number of areas that are highly valued in the marketplace today such as research, critical thinking and writing, and collaborative problem solving. Equipping students with skills required to maintain and advance Minnesota’s science, technology-based economies is important to Minnesota’s industry leaders such as 3M, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Cargill, Ecolab, General Mills, Pillsbury, Land-O-Lakes, Pace Analytical, and Valspar, and to science and technology entrepreneurs, scientists engaged with patent law, and high school science teachers. 

Smith Hall chemistry teaching lab circa 1932
Smith Hall chemistry teaching lab circa 1932
current Smith Hall teaching lab
Current Smith Hall teaching lab