Lab to get $7.6 million renovation

By Sky Opila

Roger Adams Laboratory is getting a much needed face lift.

The Board of Trustees approved a $7.6 million renovation of the current facility as part of a seven-phase, $35 million project at its Nov. 10 meeting.

“The current lab is antiquated and in need of drastic improvements,” said Nicholas Klitzing, student trustee and junior in LAS. “Renovating the Roger Adams Lab will give students the chance to learn and research in a world class facility.”

The renovations will make Roger Adams Laboratory a place where Nobel Prizes will be won and worldwide problems will be solved, Klitzing said.

The lab is home to the departments of molecular and cellular biology and chemical sciences. The focus area of the remodeling is mainly used by the department of biochemistry.

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    “Roger Adams Lab continues to provide valuable research space for faculty and students alike,” said Clif Carey, campus architect. “It was built in the 50s and requires upgrading of its original mechanical systems.”

    In addition, the renovations will help the University recruit professors who may have otherwise not shown interest in coming to the campus, Carey said.

    “(The renovation) will improve laboratory research, allowing the University to attract a wider variety of high caliber faculty and students,” he said.

    The second phase will revamp the 13,400-square-foot Hartwig Lab, at $5.3 million to accommodate two incoming, married professors inside Roger Adams Laboratory. John Hartwig from Yale University, and Anne Baranger from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., will be joining the University’s faculty next summer.

    According to the Board of Trustees minutes, the Hartwig Lab phase will be completed in time for operation in the fall of 2006. Although no final decision has been made, Harley Ellis and Loebl Schlossman and Hackl, architecture firms based out of Chicago, have been suggested to take on the services needed for the Hartwig Lab remodeling.

    Carey said the ventilation system would be a major focus in the lab, which is currently not air-conditioned.

    “The Hartwig Lab is the newer part of the building and involves increasing the number of fume hoods and a corresponding increase in ventilation capacity for the mechanical system,” Carey said.

    Students such as Daniel Jeong, freshman in Business, feel the renovations will benefit current and prospective students.

    “The need for renovation is obvious,” Jeong said. “Fixing the Roger Adams Lab will only prove to benefit studies and research.”

    Klitzing said he feels Roger Adams Laboratory is only one of the many renovations he hopes to see on campus.

    “I am committed to making sure that the University continues to renovate labs, remodel lecture halls, and address deferred maintenance problems that have unfortunately become commonplace at our University,” Klitzing said. “All of my colleagues on the Board place high importance on fixing these problems.”

    The next phases of the project remain in discussion.