Fact Sheet

Ursinus is embarking on a new era for science education and undergraduate student research with the Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC).

Innovation and Discovery Center

  • Cost: $29 million.
  • Funding: The Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC) is the centerpiece of “Keep the Promise,” the 150th anniversary campaign for Ursinus College and the largest in the college’s history. The remainder of the funding is being secured through tax-exempt municipal bonds.
  • Architects: Ellenzweig Associates Inc.
  • The IDC adds 42,500 square feet of space to the Ursinus College campus and connect Thomas and Pfahler halls, becoming the primary hub of scientific research and cross-disciplinary learning for more than 1,500 undergraduate students.
  • It is the first new major construction on the Ursinus College campus in more than 10 years, when the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center was built in 2005.
  • The facility will support the unique multidisciplinary nature of a liberal arts education by integrating previously separate subjects and spaces with the aim of strengthening science education, policy, entrepreneurship, and student research. It creates a fully realized academic community with clusters or neighborhoods for multidisciplinary fields such as neuroscience and environmental science. 
  • The IDC is designed with collaboration in mind. An open floor plan, large common areas, and laboratory spaces act as “idea labs” that incorporate advanced functionality for teaching and student-faculty research.
  • Two flexible “smart” classrooms on the main floor — a 50-seat classroom and a 30-seat classroom — allow spaces to be reconfigured for different uses and modern pedagogies.
  • Open meeting and work spaces foster collaboration between students and faculty from every discipline, including a “maker space” equipped with a 3D printer and designed to allow students to create their own tools and technology required for research and entrepreneurial initiatives.
  • The IDC is home to two of the college’s three interdisciplinary centers. The Parlee Center for Science and the Common Good provides opportunities for students to become outstanding civic and scientific leaders. They also strive to better understand the long-term cultural, political and economic implications of science discovery and research. It will also house the U-Imagine Center for Integrative and Entrepreneurial Studies, which encourages students to exercise innovation, leadership, imagination, and creativity.