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Technology makes it easier than ever for scholars to work together across disciplines, but there’s still no substitute for being down the hall from one another. In four years, the brain science program, along with the departments of neuroscience, cognitive and linguistic sciences, and molecular and cell biology, will move in together under one roof: a new life-sciences center to be built for an estimated $78 million. The plan is for the new building to contain primarily lab and research space, freeing up more classroom space elsewhere.

Brown officials announced in March that they had settled on a location for the building between Olive and Meeting streets, on a block where a pizza shop and a post office now stand. In addition to raising money to pay for the life-sciences center, the University must now select an architect. The hope is to break ground in the fall.

Other construction projects recently completed or under way around campus:

• An $8.5 million expansion of Barus & Holley, in the form of a two-level, 17,000-square-foot addition to the buildingat the intersection of George and Brook streets. The project turns a parking lot into classroom space for physics and engineering.

• Conversion of the former Sayles Gym into Smith-Buonanno Hall, which contains classrooms, a seminar room, and a 128-seat lecture hall. The $6.2 million renovation has preserved the architecture of the old gymnasium, while adding state-of-the-art multimedia systems.

• A new $18.7 million home for the Watson Institute for International Studies, to be built on Thayer Street between Charlesfield and Benevolent.

• Construction of a new $10 million building for the English Department on the corner of Brown and Angell streets.

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