SoCal University Completes $71.5M Science Building

By SCN Staff

CARSON, Calif.—C.W. Driver Companies recently completed construction on California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) new $71.5 million Science & Innovation Building. The 87,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art laboratories, faculty offices and classrooms that will help prepare the university’s students for careers in science, technology engineering and math (STEM).

“It was a pleasure partnering with CSU Dominguez Hills to bring their vision of a modern science and innovation facility to life,” said Tom Jones, project executive at C.W. Driver Companies. “Minimizing impact to current students and staff was a high priority for us, and we used acoustic sound blankets, among other measures, to ensure the project stayed on schedule without disrupting the rest of the campus.”

The façade features alternating blue and gray colored panels meant to convey a decoded DNA strand, while bamboo wood and metal panels line the interior. To accommodate the facility’s science and technology uses, C.W. Driver Companies installed sophisticated mechanical and plumbing systems, including special supply and return air ducting, more than 60 fume hoods and extensive laboratory waste disposal systems. Electrical systems line every classroom, consisting of medium and low voltage utilities, data ports, and substantial audio-visual features.

Toyota USA Foundation provided a $4 million grant to CSU Dominguez Hills that was used in part to fund the project. In recognition of this generous grant, the Toyota Center for Innovation in STEM Education was established in the building. The Toyota Center features a fabrication lab, spaces for K-12 teaching demonstrations and training, SMART classrooms, collaborative workstations and an outdoor workspace.

The Science and Innovation Building was designed to achieve LEED® Platinum Certification. C.W. Driver utilized regional and recycled materials such as limestone plaster, an aluminum composite panel rain screen system, energy efficient storefront windows and curtain walls as well as exterior shading devices to enhance energy efficiency.

“Our science and technology faculty couldn’t be happier with the end result of this project and the level of detail that the C.W. Driver team put in to fit the specialized needs of our curriculum,” said Roshni Thomas, director of facilities planning, design and construction at CSUDH. “We are confident that the Science and Innovation Building will enhance our capacity to better serve faculty, students and the community at large for years to come.”

C.W. Driver Companies worked alongside HGA Architects & Engineers on the project. Along with Jones, Sam Huleis, senior project manager; Megan Morrissey, assistant project manager; Rich Sadowski, senior superintendent; Koty Maywhort, assistant superintendent; Nick Dispenza, assistant superintendent; Jonathan Muller, senior project engineer; Diana Fraire, project engineer and Mark Vondran, chief estimator, headed up the C.W. Driver team.

Additional science and technology facilities from the builder include Chapman University’s Keck Center for Science and Engineering, Loyola Marymount University’s Life Sciences Building and Biola University’s Center for Science, Technology & Health.