On Sept. 12, the Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business & Capital Planning recommended the approval of final plans and authorization to expend funds for Pennsylvania State University's proposed Animal, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences Building on the University Park, Pa., campus at a cost of $98.5 million.
The project is scheduled to be presented to the full board for a vote on Sept. 13.
The 105,000 sq. ft. building will house research laboratories, instructional facilities and offices for the animal science and veterinary and biomedical sciences departments in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, according to an announcement.
The building, which is expected to enhance the college's teaching and research programs, will be located on Shortlidge Rd. between Curtin Rd. and Park Ave. on the site of the Henning Building, which is being demolished.
"With the constant risks to animal and human health posed by environmental toxins and pathogens — including invasive threats such as avian flu and African swine fever — and the need to maintain a safe and plentiful food supply, we must have the facilities that enable us to find solutions to some of our most vexing problems," said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences.
"This new building will foster collaboration and innovation, help us to attract and keep researchers of the highest caliber and give our students the most stimulating learning environment we can provide," he said.
Roush said the co-location of the two academic departments will provide further opportunities for synergy in their research and academic programs.
Each department will have dedicated research space in the new building, but collaboration zones incorporated into the second and third floors will maximize efficiencies, promote cross-departmental collaboration and provide the departments with greater flexibility in assigning laboratory space, the university said.
The building will feature a state-of-the-art vivarium on the ground floor to support the university animal management program. Plans also call for a much-needed general-purpose classroom, undergraduate workspaces, seminar rooms, faculty offices and lab/building support spaces, the announcement said.
In addition, the project will include improved connections to the adjacent Agricultural Sciences & Industries Building as well as new sidewalks and landscaping.