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Rising on the Quad, new Ag building brings smiles to JCOM

LOGAN—It is impossible to miss the rising frame of a 4-plus-story office, classroom and lab building on the east end of the USU Quad—a new $43 million home for the College of Agriculture.

The massive construction project broke ground last May and work has been ongoing through fair and foul weather ever since.

See earlier story on the new Ag Building.

The structure now stands four stories in a “T,” with greenish glass starting to appear on the crosspiece of the “T,” a solid sheet of glass that will look south looking across 400 North to Providence and southern Cache Valley. Bright green insulation panels are closing in the four floors, and a beak-shaped roof structure indicates the skylight that will illuminate the  the four-story atrium.

The building will house the Agriculture dean’s offices, Ag student services department, and Extension marketing and public relations department. Academic departments will include Plants, Soils and Climate; Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences; Applied Economics, and the Journalism & Communication Department.

“It was really a bit of a lucky accident of convenience,” said JCOM department head Ted Pease. “We have only seven faculty, so we could fit into the building where some other Ag departments were too big.”

Residence in the Ag building is actually a good fit, Pease said. JCOM and the Department of Agricultural Systems Technology and Education (ASTE) offer a joint bachelor’s degree in Ag Communication and Journalism, which has more than 30 majors.

“This will help us expand that relationship,” Pease said.

A new TV/video studio complex will occupy the ground floor, along with classrooms, an auditorium, computer labs and a café. JCOM’s faculty offices will be on the third floor, along with soils and plant pathology.

After decades in the Animal Science Building, among the oldest buildings on campus, JCOM faculty and students are looking forward to their new home.

“We’re excited,” Pease said. “Isn’t it beautiful? Seeing that thing grow every day just makes me smile.”

If construction continues on schedule, the building will be dedicated in March 2012, with the first classes held in the new building in summer 2012.