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USU's College of Agricultural Sciences Building Ribbon Cutting is Feb. 29

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

south side of USU's new Agricultural Sciences Building

The south side of the Agricultural Sciences Building at USU's Logan campus includes solar panels that contribute to its efficiency. The ribbon cutting for the new building is Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m. Building tours follow the ceremony.

USU Agricultural Sciences Building, interior atrium

The new building includes an impressive four-story high atrium and skylight.

A ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of Utah State University’s new Agricultural Sciences Building is Wednesday, Feb. 29. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the building’s lobby with tours immediately following. All are invited.

The $43.1 million building was funded through the Utah State Legislature after approval in 2010 of Senate Bill 280. It replaces the existing E.G. Peterson Agricultural Sciences Building, which was constructed in 1953 at the Logan campus.

The prestigious location on USU’s historic Quad highlights the continuing commitment of USU to agricultural research and education, the agricultural industry and USU’s land-grant mission including outreach and extension. The new building will open 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which established land-grant institutions in the United States.

“There are many, many people who deserve thanks for making this beautiful building possible,” said Noelle Cockett, dean and vice president of Agriculture and Extension. “It is a wonderful tribute to the legacy of agriculture in the state and recognition of the great things that will be accomplished by our faculty, staff and students in the future.  I am so excited that the move-in date is fast approaching and hope people will come celebrate the building as their time permits.”

The 125,000-square-foot building will open 665 days after the initial ground breaking took place in May 2010 and will feature two main sections. The section to the north contains three stories of high-tech teaching and research labs used by students and faculty. It also houses new university-operated computer labs, classroom space, including lecture rooms and a 116-seat auditorium, student meeting rooms and the new Café on the Quad. The second section is a four-story structure that faces south and houses the faculty and administrative offices of the College of Agriculture, USU Extension and the Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as several centers, including Western SARE, Western Rural Development Center and the USU Botanical Center.

Various departments from the College of Agriculture and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will call the new building home. Faculty and staff in the Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department; Plants, Soils and Climate Department; Applied Economics Department; and Journalism and Communication Department will move to the new building.

The building was constructed adhering to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification guidelines. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized mark of excellence and provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Solar panels were placed on the south face of the building to provide shade from the southern sun as well as produce energy. The solar panels were added to the plans after a grant from the state of Utah was awarded to support innovation for building integrated solar systems.

“Looking at the south façade of the new building one can see the rows of green glass suggesting our agricultural heritage,” said Tom Peterson, project manager. “Shades of green glass express a commitment to creating a sustainable green environment, and from the very beginning of this project our goal was to attain Silver LEED Certification. Our current calculations now place as LEED Gold, the first with this distinction on the USU main campus.”

The interior of the building touts a combination of limestone, glass and bamboo wood, along with a four-story high atrium. Smart classrooms have been equipped with the latest technology and will house university classes. Research laboratories have been designed to enhance access and collaboration among researchers. The new Café on the Quad will serve various sandwiches, pastries, coffees and will bring back Aggie Ice Cream to the Quad.

A new flavor of Aggie Ice Cream will be introduced and served to those in attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The newly designed plaza overlooks the Quad and will house the College of Agriculture Memorial, which honors the students and instructor who lost their lives in a tragic van accident in 2005. The plaza also includes multiple benches and seating areas for students, faculty, staff and visitors to enjoy campus.

For more information about the ribbon cutting or the new Agricultural Sciences Building, contact Tammy Firth at 435-797-2201.

Related link:

USU College of Agriculture

Writer: Skyler Di Stefano, marketing manager, College of Agriculture, 435-797-7406,

Contact: Tammy Firth, assistant to the dean, College of Agriculture, 435-797-2201,

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