Carnegie Mellon Breaks Ground for Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences Innovative Facility Unites Foundational Science, Computer Science and Art

Brian ThorntonFriday, April 12, 2024

CMU administrators, faculty, staff and students; elected officials and community partners; and project supporters gathered on Friday, April 12, for the Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences groundbreaking.

Carnegie Mellon University has broken ground for construction of its Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences, a 338,900 square-foot building for education, research, art and creativity unlike any other on its campuses.

Anchoring the corner of Forbes Avenue and Craig Street in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, the building will enliven a prominent thoroughfare and serve as the new western gateway to the university's campus. The unique facility will house departments from the Mellon College of Science and School of Computer Science, as well as the Institute for Contemporary Art Pittsburgh, creating an atmosphere that facilitates collaboration across disciplines to advance data-driven research and creative inquiry. Construction is expected to be completed in 2027.

"Modern science is at a crossroads, and the future of U.S. innovation is inextricably linked to our nation's capacity to drive scientific and technological advances," CMU President Farnam Jahanian said. "The Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences will position Carnegie Mellon University to excel at this crossroads and usher in new levels of collaboration while creating new paradigms for discovery and accelerating our institutional mission of leveraging knowledge for society's gain. We are deeply committed to advancing this vision and grateful to our supporters for their transformation investments in our future." 

Construction of the Hall of Sciences has been made possible by a $75 million lead grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, part of a historic $150 million partnership that was the largest single grant in the foundation's history. 

A rendering of the new Richard King Mellon Hall of Sciences.

"Building on CMU's historic work in the life sciences and the physical sciences, the new Hall of Sciences will be a place where scientists here and around the world collaborate to advance humanity. Here, they will make discoveries and uncover insights and advancements that will improve the human condition," said Sam Reiman, trustee and director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation. "And — since this is CMU — we know the academic work practiced in this building also will generate new life-science companies. And they, too, will improve and save lives."  

The Hall of Sciences is the cornerstone of the university's future of science initiative, a decade-long effort to revolutionize and accelerate research and education, leading to innovations and breakthroughs that will benefit humankind. The Biological Sciences and Chemistry Departments, along with the interdisciplinary Neuroscience Institute, will have new homes in the building, along with the Ray and Stephanie Lane Computational Biology Department, Language Technologies Institute and Machine Learning Department from SCS. By co-locating faculty and students from both MCS and SCS, the project will facilitate new research partnerships that will combine artificial intelligence, data analytics and foundational sciences to answer critical questions and solve previously unsolvable challenges.

"This will be a hub, an intersection, of all the greatness of Carnegie Mellon. The sciences, engineering, computer science and fine arts, intersecting in one place," said CMU Trustee Ray Lane. "... I expect the next 30 years to be about the sciences, computation, engineering and fine arts coming together into this hall to make meaningful changes in the human condition. … It's going to be a great future."

For more on the groundbreaking and details about the new building, read the full story on the CMU News website.

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Aaron Aupperlee | 412-268-9068 |