Penn State debuts new Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building
The ribbon-cutting ceremony signifies completion of the state-of-the-art, $98.5 million building.
Penn State unveiled its Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building on the university’s Park campus at a ribbon-cutting ceremony event held on December 1, 2021, where staff and students joined University leaders, HOK architectural firm, and Turner Construction CO.
According to a university release, the 105,000-square-foot, $98.5 million building—set on the site of the former Henning Building on Shortlidge Road between Curtin Road and Park Avenue—took 2 years to complete. It also contains research laboratories, instructional spaces, and offices for the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences.
In addition, the facility includes a state-of-the-art vivarium, an all-purpose classroom that holds at least 100, a 48-seat departmental seminar room and collaboration zones created to encourage cross-departmental collaboration and offer more flexibility in assigning laboratory space.
“Our institution was founded to use education and research to advance the agricultural industry,” said Erin Barron, Penn State president, in the release.
“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," continued Barron.
The university’s importance has been noted as the world has increased demand for agricultural and food systems, renewable energy and a sustainable environment. Barron noted that state-of-the-art facilities foster state-of-the-art research and draw motivated faculty, staff, and students.
According to the university, the obsolete design and failing infrastructure of the former Henning Building negatively impacted the college’s research and ability to recruit and retain faculty, however, the new building has already helped attract new faculty.
“The Henning Building has served its purpose well, but it had outlived its lifespan,” Barron said. “Plus, the research and teaching being conducted are critical to our food supply chain and animal and human health. A new building was essential, and thanks to the efforts of many people, we can celebrate the investments in Penn State’s Animal Science and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences programs and people.”
Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, recognized the college educates approximately 3,000 undergraduate students and 450 graduate students, more than a third studying animal, veterinary or biomedical sciences.
“Animal production is the largest sector of Pennsylvania agriculture,” Roush noted. “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 Animal Science and the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences departments complement each other and are renowned for their exceptional undergraduate instruction (ie, placements into veterinary schools), and their co-location will offer future opportunities for synergy in their research and academic programs.
Penn State unveils new Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building. News release. Penn State. December 1, 2021. Accessed December 3, 2021. https://www.psu.edu/news/agricultural-sciences/story/penn-state-unveils-new-animal-veterinary-and-biomedical-sciences/