SDSU opens $90 million science center as research funding surges

San Diego State University on Tuesday opened a new $90 million science and engineering center as part of its push to improve teaching and turn the campus into one of the nation’s top 50 public research schools.

The 85,000-square-foot complex will benefit both teaching and research. It’s coming online as San Diego State continues its rise in basic and applied research. The campus obtained $134.3 million in contracts and grants last year, a figure that is roughly $26 million higher than it was three years ago.

San Diego State leads the 23-campus California State University system in research funding, largely because Thomas Day made it a priority when he served as the school’s president from 1978 to 1996.

Three years ago, SDSU said that it would have to push funding to between $200 million and $250 million to break into the top 50 public research schools. But it would likely have to surpass $300 million to achieve its goal, based on current rankings.

The university’s overall enrollment continues to rebound after it plunged by 6,500 during the recession. The campus started fall 2017 with 34,828 students — about 1,700 fewer than the school’s peak year, 2007, when it had 36,599 students.

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