Move-in Days Begin in Latest Addition to CSI

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Jul. 30, 2013

Move-in Days Begin in Latest Addition to CSI

Equipment and faculty are now residing the Phase 3A of the Center for the Sciences and Innovation at Trinity University

 CSI Phase 3A front
CSI Phase 3A, formally the Cowles Life Science Building, as seen from a balcony on CSI Phase 2.

By Russell Guerrero '83

SAN ANTONIO - At a very deliberate pace, two student workers grabbed boxes lining tables and the floor inside a brand new lab inside the Phase 3A of the Center for the Sciences and Innovation.  The students took turns opening each box, listing the contents on a clipboard, and unpacking scientific instruments on shelves in the lab.

Move-in day had finally come to the latest addition to Trinity's multi-year and multi-phased construction project to upgrade the University's science facilities.

A week later faculty members from the departments of biology and psychology had their own move-in day, setting up their new offices and research facilities in the new north wing of the CSI, formally the Cowles Life Science building.

Outside, the addition still resembles the old Cowles building. The structure is four stories high with the first floor below ground and a greenhouse atop the roof. The big difference is the west end of the facility now connects to CSI Phase 2. 

Inside, however, the changes are dramatic.

The most noticeable, especially on a July afternoon, is the beautiful amount of natural light basking the hallways. Tall, narrow windows line the outside walls making the space bright and airy. A few corner rooms have glass walls on two sides which allow a view of central campus.

Unpacking instruments in CSI Phase 3AGlass walls are also on display in most of the classroom, lab, and office spaces inside the facility, putting science on display - one of the major goals in designing the CSI.

In addition to the biology and psychology departments, the north wing will house the neuroscience program on the first floor and the McNair Scholars Program on the fourth floor. Having the different departments and programs together in the new addition, as well being connected to the chemistry labs in CSI Phase 2, brings to life another major goal of the CSI - the opportunity for creative collisions of ideas and research from sharing the same space.

"Faculty in biology, psychology, and neuroscience are thrilled to be able to move into Phase 3A where we will be able to expand upon interdisciplinary teaching and research like that in Phase 2," said David Ribble professor and chair of biology. "Those familiar with the dark and dank hallways of the old Cowles Life Science Building will be drawn to the light and openness of this new north wing of CSI.  Come visit us soon and often!"

Work continues on the rest of the project: an elevated walkway that connects the CSI to the Chapman Center is under construction and scheduled to be completed at the beginning of the fall semester.

Phase 3B of the CSI, which will be home to the departments of chemistry, engineering science, computer science as well as the entrepreneur program, is scheduled to be completed by the spring 2014 semester.

-Russell Guerrero '83 is the public information officer at Trinity. He can be reached at