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$43 million Ag Building rising on Quad

By Courtney Rhodes

LOGAN—The College of Agriculture’s new $43 million building has been under construction for the past five months on the east side of Utah State University’s Quad and is scheduled to be finished by January 2012.

The 125,000-square-foot building will feature two main sections. The first section will contain three stories of high-tech laboratories and research space, as well as a new computer lab, 100-plus-seat auditorium and classrooms. There also will be study areas and conference rooms available for students and faculty. The second section is a four-story structure that will face south and house faculty and administrative offices.

The floor-to-ceiling glass office spaces with bring the Agriculture dean’s offices, student services department, and Extension marketing and public relations department together under one roof with the departments of Plants, Soils and Climate, Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, Applied Economics. Joining the agriculture units will be the Journalism & Communication Department.

“We are very excited to have a new building,” said Agriculture Dean Noelle Cockett. “This is a great moment for the college. The research, education and outreach of those within the building will continue to make a significant contribution to Utah and this university.”

The building, which will replace the existing 1955 Agriculture Science Building, is going up on the east end of the USU Quad where the old Merrill Library stood.

The building design allows people to connect and interact with each other, and to bring a piece of the colleges into different aspects of the building. A new garden area will be planted on the north side of the building, where the memorial for Ag students who died a bus crash will be relocated. This area will also have seating areas for the public to be able to enjoy the gardens.

The first floor will contain a new TV studio and control room with updated equipment for the JCOM department. The building will also bring Famous Aggie Ice Cream back to the Quad in a new ground-level café, along with seating areas for students and facility to eat and appreciate the views of the valley or the Quad.

The central location on the Quad highlights the importance of agriculture at Utah State, and the $43 million price tag indicates the state’s commitment to its land-grant university.

At the groundbreaking in May, state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, underscored this sense of commitment. “I am proud to be a part of this,” Hillyard said. “The agriculture program at USU is fundamental for the community, the state and the world.”

University officials are still seeking a donor after whom to name the new building. “We are eagerly looking for a donor to name the building for, but until then it will just have to be known as the new Ag Building,” Cockett said. Many rooms in the building have already been named on behalf of donors.

Construction on the building will continue for the next two years. A webcam has been mounted on the top of the business building. To see the construction site and check the building’s progress, click here.

TP