University of Minnesota begins $92.5 million renovation of historic building

What: Ceremonial groundbreaking for the University of Minnesota Tate Science and Teaching Renovation
When: Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015; Program begins at 4 p.m.
Where: Tent outside Tate, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis

More than 135 people, including legislators, alumni, University leaders, and faculty are scheduled to attend an invitation-only Tate Science and Teaching ceremonial groundbreaking.

The formal program will include short remarks from University of Minnesota Regent Richard Beeson, University President Eric W. Kaler, and University College of Science and Engineering Dean Steven L. Crouch. Speakers and honored guests will then don hard hats and turn the soil with golden shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

About the Tate Science and Teaching Renovation
Originally built in 1926 with two additions in the 1960s, Tate is a prominent building on the University of Minnesota Northrop Mall. Countless students have taken classes and conducted research in the building during the last 89 years.

The $92.5 million Tate Science and Teaching renovation will turn obsolete labs and antiquated classrooms into vibrant, flexible spaces that will bolster instruction, research, and support services, while preserving the building’s architectural character as part of the Northrop Mall Historic District. The theme of “science on display” is a guiding force for the project.

Highlights include the new Van Vleck auditorium, which will be adjacent to the new Church Street entrance and serve as a main location for classes and public events. A four-story atrium with skylight will be added in the center of the space, and the historic rooftop observatory will be restored and improved, providing more space for public viewings of the night sky.

When completed in fall 2017, Tate will become home to the Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy. The building will house approximately 350 faculty, post-doctorates, graduate students, and visiting researchers. More than 2,000 students will take classes in Tate each day. The facility will include 29 teaching labs for physics and astronomy courses and four teaching labs for earth sciences courses. In addition, the building will include 26 research labs—10 for physics and astronomy and 16 for earth sciences.

The University has chosen Alliiance as the building renovation architect and J.E. Dunn Construction as the general contractor.

The public can watch the construction on the live webcam at

Click the images below for high resolution photos.

Tate from Church Street S.E.

Tate Atrium

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