VCU Rice Center

Looking into the future: Site development plan

There are two critical physical elements necessary to complete the site development of the VCU Rice Center — a state-of-the-art research building and a facility for overnight lodging of scientists and students.

Research building


The research building will stand as the centerpiece of vibrant environmental research at the VCU Rice Center. This building, with 14,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, will accommodate the center’s many faculty, staff and student researchers, including the Atlantic Rivers Institute and the new home for the Center for Conservation Biology. In keeping with the center’s commitment to sustainability, the building is planned at the LEED Platinum certification level.

The building will provide much-needed office and laboratory space for scientists and staff. Additionally, critical support facilities such as an Environmental Chemistry Analysis Laboratory, a Geospatial Data Analysis Laboratory, and shared core research equipment will be housed in the research building. The building will be wired with the latest information technology and distance-communication systems, allowing researchers to connect and work globally. Meeting space will be available for idea-sharing meetings and for regular lectures by invited scientists and environmental managers. The building will be designed with an openness that will foster a sense of togetherness and encourage the free-flowing exchange of ideas.

Weyanoke Lodge


Imagine taking a class or conducting research at the VCU Rice Center while living on site. The 5,000-square-foot Weyanoke Lodge provides accommodations for 25 to 30 visiting researchers, students and other groups to stay at the center for days or weeks, conducting research or participating in educational programs. The building will greatly increase the center’s opportunities for securing external funding for summer student programs that require overnight facilities. Building elements include bunk rooms and private sleeping accommodations as well as kitchenette, dining and meeting spaces. The lodge is planned at the LEED Platinum certification level.

Completing the VCU Rice Center Site Development Plan and expanding the center’s research capabilities are key to our successfully addressing critical environmental issues, increasing our faculty’s competitiveness for research funding and enhancing our ability to attract renowned environmental scientists and the best students to the center.

To offer your support, please go to our Giving page and click on Ways to give on the right-hand side, or visit our Capital Campaign page for more information.