New Construction

Penn State Unveils New Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building

Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., recently celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new academic building on its campus. University officials, students, faculty and staff gathered on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to commemorate the opening of the new Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building.

The facility measures in at 105,000 square feet and cost about $98.5 million. In addition to instructional spaces and research labs, it also plays home to the administrative offices of the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences. According to a news release, the project took about two years to complete. The university partnered with architecture firm HOK and Turner Construction.

"Our institution was founded to use education and research to advance the agricultural industry," said Penn State President Eric Barron at the ceremony. “Today, Penn State is one of the most respected integrated academic and outreach units of its kind in American higher education, and the College of Ag Sciences is at the forefront of research and educational programs that are vital to our economy, health and national security.”

The facility contains amenities like a vivarium (a type of terrarium for small animals), a general-purpose classroom with capacity for 100 students, a seminar room with capacity for just under 50, and a variety of collaboration zones to encourage cross-departmental interaction.

Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, spoke of the new facility’s importance to the 3,000 undergraduates and 450 graduate students enrolled in the college. “Animal production is the largest sector of Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Roush. “More than 80,000 jobs—29% of agricultural employment—are directly involved in animal production and the crop production that supports it, providing more than $9 billion to the Pennsylvania economy—and growing. The departments of Animal Science and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences are major contributors to success.”

The new facility replaces the former Henning Building, whose outdated design and failing infrastructure was proving detrimental to research and retaining faculty, according to a news release.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].