City, University Pave Way for Interdisciplinary Science Building in Webster Groves

Agreement reached on left turn lane sets plan in motion

ST. LOUIS (MARCH 25, 2015) - Webster University and the City of Webster Groves reached an agreement this month on the City’s construction and Webster University’s cost of a left turn lane for southbound Edgar Road at Garden Avenue. The left turn lane is a City of Webster Groves condition in order for the University to expand its parking garage and a necessary step to breaking ground for a new Interdisciplinary Science Building. Work on a new electrical substation to support the new building already has started.

The left turn lane represents an important step forward for the institution and for the City and will cost the University approximately $386,000. The agreement and partnership will enable both parties to share expertise and maximize resources.

Webster University’s new strategic plan, “Global Impact for the Next Century,” calls for providing excellence in infrastructure and building greater strength in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine-based) courses.  The new Interdisciplinary Science Building, which will support these programs, is a vital element of Webster University’s 2012 Campus Master Plan.

“Our commitment to global excellence starts right here on our home campus,” said Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble, president of Webster University. “By partnering with the City of Webster Groves on this project, which will benefit both of us, we have taken an important step on our journey to providing the highest quality STEMM programs and courses possible. This not only benefits our region, but it will also strengthen our commitment to STEMM across the entire Webster University global network.”

If there are no unexpected delays, Webster University could break ground as early as the end of this year on the new building.

“As we prepare students for STEMM careers, it is critical that we have state of the art facilities,” said Julian Schuster, the provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Webster University. “Biological Sciences is one of Webster’s most popular majors and likely will continue to grow as employers demand more professionals with a science background.”

Working with the City of Webster Groves, the University will engage with an engineering company to finalize the design and prepare bid documents for the left turn lane construction.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University ( comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with over 20,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

Additional Project Facts 

  • Initially, it      was estimated the left turn lane work could have cost as much as $1      million. By agreeing to partner with the City and obtain their input on      design and utilize their resources and expertise on road construction, the      estimated costs were significantly reduced.
  • The      preliminary plans show the new lane would be added to the west side of      Edgar Road from Big Bend Boulevard to a few feet past the Emerson Library,      where it would merge back to a single lane. The island in front of Emerson      Library would be eliminated, while the turn-around/parking area in front      of the library will be converted to a drop-off-zone only. Traffic lights,      fire hydrants and sidewalks also would be relocated along the west side of      the road between Big Bend Boulevard and Garden Avenue.
  • With the      agreement now signed, Webster University is closer to starting the      expansion of the parking garage. Work on the substation has already      started and is expected to be completed by next year.
  • Under the      terms of the agreement, the City has until May 31, 2016 to start the      project.
  • Webster      University has agreed to fund approximately $358,000 to the City for the      lane, which will be placed in an escrow account. Working with the City,      the University will engage with an engineering company to finalize the      design and prepare the bid documents. The estimated cost of the design is      $28,000. The rest of the money will be used to pay for the actual work.      With design in hand, the City will bid the work, select the construction      company and manage the project. Any remaining funds will be returned to      the University.