Penn State Intercom......October 25, 2001

Ground broken for
new chemistry building

In a continuing effort to upgrade facilities and equipment for scientific instruction and research, University officials broke ground on Oct. 19 for a new chemistry building. chem6

The $62.3 million structure will consolidate the work of the chemistry department, now spread over six buildings across campus, and encourage greater collaboration among students and faculty.

The building, located along Shortlidge Road near Eisenhower Auditorium on the University Park campus, is expected to be completed in fall 2003. The state has committed $57.3 million, and the University is seeking the remaining $5 million in private support.

Chemistry was among the first disciplines to be taught at Penn State when the University opened its doors in 1859, and it continues to be central to scholarship in many scientific disciplines, according to Daniel Larson, dean of the Eberly College of Science.

The department enrolls about 310 students at all levels and has about 38 faculty members at the University Park campus.

One wing of the new Chemistry Building will be devoted to synthetic and biological chemistry. The other wing will house physical and analytical chemists -- those who use lasers, vacuum chambers and other large instruments in their work. The department's theoretical chemists will have space throughout the building.

The building also will contain nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometer facilities, a classroom, seminar rooms and administrative offices.

A glass-enclosed walkway and gathering space will span Shortlidge Road to connect the Chemistry Building with the Life Sciences Building, also under construction. The connection symbolizes the interdisciplinary nature of the sciences and aims to encourage greater collaboration and sharing of resources among students and faculty.