Purdue University will formally dedicate its new $60 million, 123,000 sq. ft. animal sciences complex in a ceremony March 22.
The facility boosts the university’s commitment to Indiana’s food animal production industry by establishing a center for interactive student learning, advanced research and enhanced extension programming.
“These wonderful state-of-the art classrooms, laboratories and interactive spaces bring together students, faculty and staff in ways that will foster collaboration, spark new ideas and move the animal industry forward,” said university president Mitch Daniels. “We are very grateful to everyone who helped make this day possible.”
The nearly 90,000 sq. ft. Hobart & Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences is a three-floor structure housing research laboratories, classrooms designed for interactive and team-based learning, conference rooms for extension activities and open spaces to facilitate faculty and student interactions. It also contains offices for the department's faculty and staff, graduate students, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service's Livestock Behavior Unit and staff of Indiana animal regulatory agencies.
“Hobart and Russell Creighton were great visionaries. Our family believes they would be so pleased with Creighton Hall and how it will enhance Purdue’s fulfillment of the land-grant mission and the work of the Animal Sciences department,” said Eddie Creighton, chairman of the board of egg producer Creighton Brothers LLC of Warsaw, Ind., and a second-generation family owner. “Since our company’s inception, we have enjoyed a close partnership with the university, and we look forward to seeing the impact this facility will have on the animal agriculture industry.”
The 24,662 sq. ft. Land O’Lakes Inc. Center for Experiential Learning includes research and teaching space for meat and protein sciences. It will also house the Boilermaker Butcher Block, a retail shop where animal sciences students learn how to tenderize, cut and age meat, in addition to sanitation and food safety practices. The adjoining 7,800 sq. ft. Purina Pavilion hosts teaching, extension, extracurricular and youth events focusing on livestock care, handling and evaluation.
“At Land O’Lakes, we are proud of our deep and enduring partnership with Purdue University,” said Chris Policinski, president and chief executive officer of Land O’Lakes Inc. “The Land O’Lakes Inc. Center for Experiential Learning, as part of the Purdue animal sciences complex, is a physical reminder of our joint commitment to the future of agriculture and its most important asset, the next generation. We look forward to seeing what Purdue students will contribute to what I believe is the greatest growth industry of our time.”
Indiana’s livestock industry is a $6 billion business, accounting for more than 35,000 jobs.
“Producers have for years looked to the Purdue College of Agriculture and department of animal sciences for the latest research and Extension information and for graduates who are professionals — forward thinking with practical experience,” said Karen Plaut, interim dean. “With these new facilities, we are well-positioned to continue our high-level support for an agricultural sector to meet the challenges of feeding a growing global population.”
The dedication ceremony represents the culmination of a three-year process. In May 2015, Purdue’s Board of Trustees approved construction of an agricultural and life sciences facility that was designated as the university’s top priority in a 10-year capital plan submitted to the state. Ground was broken Nov. 6, 2015, at the corner of Harrison and Russell streets on Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette, Ind.