The University of Alabama in Huntsville broke ground on a new 80,000-square-foot engineering facility that will be named in memory of Raymond B. Jones, a long-time business and community leader and past chairman of the UAH Foundation.
The new facility will provide cutting-edge resources to the university’s largest college, which has more than 2,850 students and 90 faculty and staff. The new building will feature modernized research and collaborative teaching facilities, ensuring the university will meet the needs of North Alabama’s high-tech businesses.
“In an effort championed by Sen. Tom Butler, Gov. (Kay) Ivey and the Alabama State Legislature appropriated funds to make this needed building a reality, and we will forever be indebted for their commitment to higher education here in Huntsville, especially in the fields of engineering and science,” said. Charles Karr, president of UAH.
Phase I of the project received Stage II approval from the University of Alabama System board of trustees this month. Phase I is estimated to cost $62.38 million and includes plans for new construction that will replace the Wernher von Braun Research Hall, a building constructed in 1964. The new facility will be located west of the existing Engineering Building, adjacent to the campus lake along John Wright Drive.
“I also want to thank the UAH Foundation, chaired by Dag Rowe, for its significant support. Mr. Jones was a past chairman of this philanthropic body, and because of his leadership, this university was set on a path for exponential growth,” Karr said.
Jones became president of G.W. Jones & Sons Consulting Engineers in 1967 — a firm that was founded by his grandfather. As CEO he oversaw numerous engineering design and municipal projects before his death in July 2022. For his business and civic leadership, Jones was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. He received an honorary doctorate from UAH in recognition of his tireless support of the university.