Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building project advances

September 12, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Board of Trustees Committee on Finance, Business and Capital Planning today (Sept. 12) recommended approval of the final plans and authorization to expend funds for the Animal, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Building at the University Park campus at a cost of $98.5 million. The project will be presented to the full board for a vote on Friday, Sept. 13. 

The 105,000-square-foot building will house research laboratories, instructional facilities and offices for the Animal Science and the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences departments in the College of Agricultural Sciences. The building, which is expected to enhance the college's nationally recognized teaching and research programs, will be located on Shortlidge Road between Curtin Road and Park Avenue on the site of the Henning Building, which is being demolished. 

"With the constant risks to animal and human health posed by environmental toxins and pathogens — including invasive threats such as avian flu and African swine fever — and the need to maintain a safe and plentiful food supply, we must have the facilities that enable us to find solutions to some of our most vexing problems," said Rick Roush, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. 

"This new building will foster collaboration and innovation, help us to attract and keep researchers of the highest caliber, and give our students the most stimulating learning environment we can provide," he said. 

The Animal Science and the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences departments complement each other, and both departments are well known for their outstanding undergraduate instruction, including placements into veterinary schools, Roush noted. He said their co-location will provide further opportunities for synergy in their research and academic programs. 

Each department will have dedicated research space in the new building, but collaboration zones incorporated on the second and third floors will maximize efficiencies, promote cross‐departmental collaboration and provide the departments greater flexibility in assigning laboratory space. 

The building will feature a state‐of‐the‐art vivarium on the ground floor to support the University animal management program. Plans also call for a much-needed general-purpose classroom, undergraduate work spaces, seminar rooms, faculty offices, and lab- and building-support spaces. 

In addition, the project will include improved connections to the adjacent Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building, as well as new sidewalks and landscaping. 

The Department of Animal Science offers world-class teaching, research and extension programs in a wide variety of key areas in animal agriculture and the food system. The department offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in animal science and participates in intercollege graduate degree programs in bioinformatics and genomics; ecology; molecular, cellular and integrative biosciences; neuroscience; physiology; and plant biology. Faculty research encompasses dairy, livestock, equine and poultry; animal products and human health; nutrient management and environmental stewardship; reproductive biology and fertility; and other topics. 

The Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences strives for excellence in research, teaching and outreach in biomedical sciences and veterinary medicine. The department offers undergraduate degrees in immunology and infectious disease; toxicology; and veterinary and biomedical sciences; and a graduate program in pathobiology. Department faculty also are involved with intercollege graduate programs in immunology and infectious disease and in molecular toxicology. Faculty members conduct research in four primary areas: animal diagnostics, immunology and infectious disease, molecular toxicology and carcinogenesis, and veterinary extension.

Last Updated September 12, 2019