Ground was broken at Purdue University Friday for two Animal Sciences buildings that will offer faculty, staff and students the latest technology as they strive for innovation in animal sciences research and education. In a celebration at the corner of Russell and Harrison Streets, Purdue Dean of Agriculture Jay Akridge said it’s time for such a project.
“As I said many times as we were working on the funding for this space, it was time to recapitalize this important department” he said. “It’s an important provider of human talent for the industry, an important provider of research and extension for the industry, and they really needed world class space to do the world class work that our industry needs, that our students need as they take positions of leadership in the animal industries.”
The re-capitalization of the department will run $60 million, and half that, $33 million, will be state funding. Purdue President Mitch Daniels thanked state legislators in attendance for their support and assured all that the investment is a wise one.
“We are being very careful about capital investments on this campus,” said Daniels. “There have been a whole lot of them in the last couple decades and we don’t want to overshoot and build up fixed assets that in ten or twenty years someone says what fool put that empty building there. This will not be the case. The case is absolutely is absolutely clear cut. I’m with Jay. He has a better imagination for this than I can, but even I can look ahead to the great students who pass through this building, to the great research and the many breakthroughs that generations worldwide will benefit from.”
The event marks the start of construction of 2 buildings, the Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences and the Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning. Naming rights of both buildings are the result of gifts of $5 million from both companies. Chris Policinski is president and CEO of Land O’Lakes.
“I am an optimist because of what this project symbolizes. It symbolizes bringing our very best and brightest to not the challenge, but the opportunity to produce a lot more food in a lot more productive and sustainable ways.”
Hear the entire ceremony here:Purdue Animal Sciences Groundbreaking ceremony
The buildings will further the efforts of scientists to improve the safety and quality of meat, eggs and milk production, advance livestock efficiency; enhance animal health and wellbeing, and develop biomedical knowledge to help find solutions to human disorders and disease.
The nearly 90,000-square-foot Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences will be the new home of the Department of Animal Sciences. The three-floor structure will house research laboratories, classrooms designed for interactive and team-based learning, conference rooms for Extension activities, and open spaces to facilitate faculty and student interactions.
The Creighton building also will contain offices for all of the department’s faculty and staff, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Livestock Behavior Unit, and staff of Indiana animal regulatory agencies.
The gift from Creighton Brothers recognizes the valuable resource Purdue’s Department of Animal Sciences has been for the company since its founding in 1925, Creighton said.
“There is always a great need to update facilities and stay on the cutting edge of technology if we hope to compete for the best and brightest students,” he said. “With this capital project nearly underway, we’ll continue to be the premiere place for excellence for not only the poultry students of the future but all of animal agriculture.”
The Land O’Lakes Center for Experiential Learning will be about 22,000 square feet of research and teaching space in support of the meat and protein sciences. The adjoining Purina Pavilion will host teaching, Extension, extracurricular and youth-based events on livestock care, handling and evaluation. The facilities will be used by the nearly 700 undergraduates and 70 graduate students who study animal sciences at Purdue.
Land O’Lakes, one of the nation’s leading food and agricultural businesses, is a longtime strategic partner of Purdue University and Purdue Agriculture and has a broad-based relationship with the campus.
“At Land O’Lakes, we recognize the need for the next generation of talent and support of the work of key universities to develop students engaged in food and agricultural studies,” Policinski said. “This donation represents one portion of our holistic relationship with Purdue University. We look forward to continuing to develop the next generation of talent.”