FAES Opens New Academic Center

Classrooms, Bookstore, Coffee Shop, and More

It’s been 10 years in the making, but the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) is about to open the doors of its new Academic Center in the Clinical Center (Building 10). As you walk along the corridor between the Masur Auditorium and the Clinical Center’s atrium, you may have noticed the large glass window and the spacious room behind it. That room will soon house the FAES bookstore and a coffee bar. Behind the bookstore is a skylighted terrace big enough to host poster sessions and receptions. Downstairs are eight subdividable classrooms complete with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and Internet connections (both Wi-Fi and LAN).

New terrace with skylightLSY ARCHITECTS

This computer rendering shows the new FAES Academic Center’s skylighted terrace, which will be spacious enough to host poster sessions and receptions. It will provide a quiet place for reflection, too. 

“This is the first time there will be real classrooms and desks,” said former FAES president Edwin “Ted” Becker, who is overseeing the 20,000-square-foot renovation project. Becker, an NIDDK scientist emeritus, is a past director of the NIH Office of Research Services. Until now, “FAES classes used whatever space was available in the evenings.”

Classes range from introductory to advanced courses in the biomedical sciences and are taught by NIH scientists and fellows (Becker taught courses for 30 years). The intensive, hands-on Bio-Trac courses, which include both laboratory and lecture sections, are held in Building 60 and will eventually be moved to Building 10 when more space becomes available.

But wait, there’s more. FAES administrative offices (most are now in Building 60) and a new graduate student lounge are being constructed along the north corridor that leads to the NIH Blood Bank. The lounge will be a gathering place for the 500 students in the Graduate Partnerships Program (https://www.training.nih.gov/programs/gpp) who are scattered in intramural labs throughout the NIH campus.

And on the second floor, in the old medical boardroom near the cafeteria, there will be a small dining room that will have a small catering kitchen and accommodate up to 40 people.

FAES was launched in 1959 with a mission to “foster and encourage scientific research and education . . . by whatever means may be practicable.” Today, the foundation offers nearly 200 graduate and undergraduate courses a year; a health-insurance program for fellows who are not eligible for federal employee benefits; a bookstore (now on level B1 of Building 10); reception facilities at the Social and Academic Center on Old Georgetown Road; and cultural escapes such as the Manchester String Quartet, which plays eight concerts a year in the Masur Auditorium (Building 10).

NIH donated space for the renovation and FAES funded it out of its financial reserves. Gilbane, Inc., is the builder; McKissack and McKissack is the project manager. The project is expected to be completed in 2013 except for the relocation of the Bio-Trac teaching laboratory. FAES will hold a special ceremony to present the Academic Center to NIH during the 2013 Research Festival (October 7–11). Stay tuned for details.

room under construction with a ladder, boxes, and moreJEREMY SWAN

Just a few months ago, the FAES Academic Center looked like this.



Former FAES president Ted Becker (left)  is overseeing the construction project. he took OIR Communications Director Christopher Wanjek and others on a tour earlier this year.


book store and coffee bar


The new coffee bar and bookstore in FAES’s Academic Center will be open for business and welcoming visitors soon.


class room



The new FAES subdividable classrooms have state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and Internet connections (both Wi-Fi and LAN). Here four classrooms are shown with the connecting walls partly retracted.



This computer rendering shows the new FAES dining room, which will have a small catering kitchen and accommodate up to 40 people.