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UCO STEM Research and Learning Center Honored with Interior Design’s Best of Year Award

Interior picture of a hallway in the UCO STEM building

Jan. 31, 2020

Media Contact: Sarah Ward, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2106, sward24@uco.edu

UCO STEM Research and Learning Center Honored with Interior Design’s Best of Year Award

Representing some of the best architecture for 2019, the University of Central Oklahoma’s Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center received national recognition as an honoree of Interior Design's 14th annual Best of Year Awards in New York City in December.

For the “Higher Education” category, Oklahoma City-based Rand Elliott Architects was honored for the design of the Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center. The design is one of 609 finalists in 137 design categories, selected from a list of 2,638 buildings.

“We are proud to be one of the honorees recognized by Interior Design magazine’s Best of Year Awards for the University of Central Oklahoma Donald Betz STEM building and are honored to represent Oklahoma on this list of globally recognized architectural firms,” said Rand Elliott, principal and founder of Rand Elliott Architects.

With approximately 56,000 square feet of learning space for the university’s various science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs, including biology, chemistry, engineering, forensic science and nursing, the building was designed with collaboration in mind.

The design concept unites the different disciplines together and features several spaces where students and faculty can collaborate and innovate together. Transformative Learning classrooms with moveable furniture and high-definition displays provide flexible spaces that adapt to each discipline’s needs.

“Our goal was to offer the student an experience that enhances their education – to create a place that stimulates creative thinking and inspires innovation,” Elliott said.

“We were inspired by the scientists and mathematicians to create a space in which they could collaborate around questions that have yet to be asked and follow the answer wherever it leads,” said Mike Mays, project architect and principal at Rand Elliott Architects.

The Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center also includes an 80-student lecture classroom that doubles as a storm shelter, a student lounge, numerous laboratories, two transformative learning style classrooms, and 30 faculty office spaces and workroom.

For more information on UCO’s STEM programs and the new building, visit www.uco.edu.  

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Editor's Note: Download art associated with this release at https://media.uco.edu/Press/STEMAward120

Cutline: The University of Central Oklahoma’s Donald Betz STEM Research and Learning Center received national recognition as an honoree of Interior Design's 14th annual Best of Year Awards in New York City in December. For the “Higher Education” category, Oklahoma City-based Rand Elliott Architects was honored for the design.