Your primary source of information for news from and about the University of Arizona.

April 19, 2023

Media Advisory: UArizona unveils The Commons and renovated Chemistry Building

  • What: Opening ceremony for the University of Arizona's newly renovated Chemistry Building and recently completed The Commons. Media will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of both facilities. President Robert C. Robbins and other university leaders will give remarks ahead of a ribbon-cutting.
  • When: Friday, April 21. Guided tour begins at 2 p.m. Program begins at 3:30 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting at 4:15 p.m.
  • Where: University of Arizona Chemistry Building, 1306 E. University Blvd.
  • RSVP: RSVP to Nick Prevenas,

TUCSON, Ariz. – Members of the media are invited to tour the University of Arizona's newly renovated Chemistry Building and The Commons, a new building dedicated to collaborative learning and research. University leaders will speak at a grand opening ceremony for the two buildings.

The facilities, which together total 78,600 square feet, are home to seven collaborative classrooms designed to encourage cooperation, inclusive practices and active learning to increase student and faculty engagement and help students develop workplace-relevant skills. The classrooms range in size from 30 to 200 seats.

The renovated Chemistry Building was originally designed by then-UArizona chief architect Roy Place and built by Sundt Construction in 1936. Affectionately known as Old Chem, the building will now house departmental and advising offices; numerous workspaces for Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty; renovated space for nuclear magnetic resonance equipment and electronic and metal shops; a new general education office; and three teaching studios for online instruction.

The renovation and construction project broke ground in 2021 and was designed by Shepley Bulfinch, built by Sundt Construction and managed for the university by Planning, Design and Construction.

After the tour of the facilities, the grand opening ceremony will include remarks from:

  • Robert C. Robbins, president
  • Gail Burd, vice provost for teaching and learning
  • Liesl Folks, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs
  • Craig Aspinwal, head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Eric Bell, consultant for the Disability Resource Center

There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Please RSVP to Nick Prevenas,

# # #

Media contact:
Nick Prevenas
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2021 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $770 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

The University of Arizona Land Acknowledgement