The groundbreaking for new state of the art facilities for Purdue’s Department of Animal Sciences last week signifies the beginning of 2 years of construction before students and faculty move in. But the ground work just to get to the groundbreaking started many months ago. The head of the department, Dr. Alan Mathew told HAT the work started more than 2 years ago.
“Faculty and staff got together and put together their idea of our programmatic needs for a new facility,” he said. “That was the first step of just the conceptual plan. Once the project was approved, the $60 million all came together, in earnest we got together as groups. We had research groups. We had faculty focused on teaching. We had faculty focused on conference and extension, and weekly they would hammer out the details of what we need in this facility to make sure we have those kinds of programs that our stakeholders need.”
That collaboration has been happening for about 6 months and Mathew says they’re getting close to handing the construction firm detailed plans. He’ll continue to provide regular input during the construction phase.
So what are the benefits to animal sciences at Purdue with this project? Mathew says one plus is logistical, with the department able to come together as a unit instead of across several buildings. That will give students better access to all faculty. And of course state of the art facilities brings a wealth of opportunity.
“We’ll be able to do some things that we just haven’t been able to manage through our current facilities,” Mathew explained. “It’s very much a molecular age for agriculture and very basic research needs to be taken to advance our discipline within the livestock industries, and with these new facilities we’ll be able to do that, and we’ll be able to translate those same sorts of high level science into classrooms that are going to be much more hands on and interactive.”
The plan is for completion of the Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences and the Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning by fall of 2017.