The Chemistry-Biology research center was completed in 1971. Donald J. Stephens Associates, designed the 75,000 sq. ft. laboratory building at a cost of $3.3 million. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the New York State Dormitory Authority. The facility was planned in an effort to support increased graduate research and relieve cramped laboratory space in the Mason and Walker labs. The building, which was constructed from the inside out, was designed with windowless labs and a fresh air ventilation system. It completed the "wall" of research buildings along College Ave.
The Chemistry-Biology building was dedicated as the William B. Cogswell Laboratory on May 13, 1972. William B. Cogswell, Class of 1852, was a long time trustee and generous benefactor of Rensselaer . Noted chemist George S. Hammond and biologist Sol Spiegelman spoke at the dedication.