Craig Kinzer breaks ground at SU’s Center for Science and Innovation

A powerful response to unprecedented demand for STEM degrees, Seattle University’s Center for Science and Innovation passed an important milestone on May 30 with a ceremonial groundbreaking.

Project planning and fundraising leadership for Seattle University’s new Center for Science and Innovation break ground on the project May 30 at Seattle University. Pictured from left are Father Stephen Sundborg, Seattle University President; John Hamilton, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Paul Pasquier, Boeing International; Craig Kinzer, Kinzer Partners; Steve Trainer, Global Engagement Task Force at Seattle University; and Stu Rolfe; campaign co-chair at Seattle University. Photo by Yosef Kalinko.

Craig Kinzer, Partner at Kinzer Partners and a member of the project’s Task Force, wielded a golden shovel and tossed dirt in the air alongside other task force members and fundraising campaign leadership to celebrate the start of construction.

Seattle University calls the center the “new heart” of its campus on Capitol Hill, representing the future of STEM education there. The project is anchored by a new five-story, 111,000 SF building that will house biology, chemistry and computer science programs. The new building is scheduled to open 2021. The project also includes major renovations to the university’s Bannan Engineering and Science Buildings – slated to open 2023.


“We are in a knowledge economy, and Seattle needs more STEM graduates; not only to meet current and future demand, but also to bring Seattle University’s sense of inclusion and social equity into the workplace. The students at Seattle University are investing in their future. This new Center for Science and Innovation is an investment in them.”
– Craig Kinzer, partner at Kinzer Partners

Project Fast Facts:

Location: The new building will offer a dramatic new entry to the campus at 12th Avenue and East Marion Street.

Scheduled completion date: 2021 for the new building and 2023 for the renovations.

Architects: EYP/Mithūn

General contractor: Skanska


The Center for Science and Innovation will house Seattle University’s multidisciplinary approach to STEM Education and provide room to grow for the College of Science and Engineering – the fastest-growing college at Seattle University.

According to university documents, enrollment in STEM programs stood at 1,272 in the 2018-2019 academic year – a 61 percent increase over the last 10 years. Enrollment is expected to reach 1,600 by 2026.

Computer science has led this expansion, with enrollment quadrupling since 2009.

The new Center for Science and Innovation will serve as a gateway and technology hub for the Seattle University Campus on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Courtesy of Seattle University. 

Facility Features:

Increased capacity for Project Centers

The center will add capacity for Seattle University’s Project Center, where senior-level student teams work with businesses, government agencies and non-profits to solve real-world problems in engineering, environmental science and computer science.

Growth in STEM programs necessitated an expansion of the Project Center to two locations. The new building will house the Computer Science Project Center, while the Engineering Project Center will be located in the renovated Bannan Engineering Building.

Maker space

A new maker space in the facility will feature tools, technology and materials that any SU student can use to bring their ideas and projects to life.

New labs

  • Six multi-investigator research labs for biology and chemistry where growing numbers of undergraduate students will perform scientific investigations
  • Thirteen state-of-the-art teaching labs will improve hands-on activities in lab-based courses
  • Adjoining facilities with environmental controls and specialized equipment will expand student opportunities for course-based and independent research projects.

Additional Features

  • Significant increase in the capacity of university classrooms.
  • More than 16 faculty offices for departments in other schools/colleges.
  • New home for the Center for Community Engagement and student-run radio station KXSU.
  • Creation of a University Commons for campus events.
  • Café and gathering spaces

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