USU's Life Sciences Building
Quick Facts, Contacts, and News Stories for USU's New Life Sciences Building (LSB)
FOR: The new facility benefits students in more than 30 majors (life sciences, agricultural sciences, engineering, food and nutrition sciences, natural resources and more) providing space for foundational biology classrooms, lecture and lab courses, as well as research.
OPENED FOR CLASSES: January 7, 2019
LOCATION: The Life Sciences Building is located on USU’s Logan campus, south of the Biology and Natural Resources Building. It is built on the former site of the Peterson Agricultural Building, which was demolished in 2012.
BUILDING SIZE: 103,000 square feet; 5 levels (4 stories and basement)
- 300-seat Lecture Hall
- 13 Teaching Laboratories
- Collaborative Research Laboratories
- Student Study Spaces
- Outdoor Teaching Laboratory Garden
TIMELINE: Utah State formally broke ground on the new facility on April 25, 2017.
ARCHITECT: VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City
CONTRACTOR: Jacobsen Construction Company, Salt Lake City
INTERIOR DESIGN: Tom C. Peterson
COSTS AND FUNDING: $45 million
- State of Utah = $38 million
- Utah State University = $2 million
- Private donors = $5 million
- “Surface Tension,” artist Amy Landesberg
- “Symbols and Symmetries,” artist Mark Pomilio
- Funded by Utah percent-for-art (1% of state building construction)
Parking + Transportation
How to Get to the new Life Sciences Building
The Life Sciences Building is located south of the Biology-Natural Resources Building and north of the Eccles Conference Center on USU’s Logan campus.
Visitors may park in the following areas:
- Big Blue Parking Terrace at 700 East 600 North, Logan.
- Aggie Parking Terrace at 850 East 700 North, Logan.
For information about visitor parking rates, please visit the USU Parking & Transportation Services website.
The USU campus is served by Cache Valley Transit District fare-free bus system Routes 1, 4, 15 and 16.
The closest bus stops to the Life Sciences Building are:
- Stop #1007: Distance Education Building, 980 East 700 North (south side of 700 North), eastbound Routes 1, 4, 15 and 16 (traveling from the Transit Center.)
- Stop #1021: Education Building, 903 East 700 North (north side of 700 North), westbound Routes 1, 4, 15 and 16 (traveling toward the Transit Center.)
The Life Sciences Building is located about two and a half blocks south of 700 North.
Maura E. Hagan, PhD
Diane Alston, PhD
Chris Luecke, PhD
Vice President, Corporate Communications & Brand Marketing Jacobsen Construction
Salt Lake City, Utah
Contact: 801-983-5143, 801-810, 7269, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Peterson, PhD
Contact: 435-770-5374, email@example.com
Photos + Renderings
In The News
College of Science Discovery Stories
- Coming to Life: Cruising to the finish line
- Science on Display
- Coming to Life: Topping Off
- The ‘Work’ of Art
- Coming to Life: Breaking Ground
- Coming to Life: Plans for New Building
Utah State Today Stories
- Jun ‘18 - Coming to Life: The ‘Work’ of Art at USU
- Dec ‘17 - USU's New Life Sciences Building Celebrates 'Topping Off' Milestone
- April ‘17 - April 25 Groundbreaking Ceremony Set for USU's Life Sciences Building
In The Media
- Apr ‘19 - Utah Statesman “Life Sciences Building: campus’s new central hangout"
- Apr ‘19 - Herald Journal News “Conversations with the Artists showcases artwork in new Life Sciences Building"
- Mar ‘19 - Utah Statesman “New cafe open in USU’s Life Sciences building”
- Jan ‘19 - Herald Journal News “Classes begin in new Life Sciences Building at USU"
- Dec ‘18 - Arizona State University Now “ASU professor draws on scientific themes for artwork at new biology building in Utah”
- Aug ‘18 - Utah Statesman “What’s the ETA on that?”
- Apr '18 - Utah Statesman "An in-depth look at USU’s new Life Sciences building"
- Mar '18 - Utah Public Radio "Utah State University Receives Legislative Funding For Building Renovation"
- Dec ‘17 - Utah Public Radio “USU College of Science Finishes Foundation For New Life Sciences Building"
- Apr ‘17 - Herald Journal News “USU announces Life Sciences Building plans"
- Jul ‘15 - Herald Journal News “USU wants design of biological sciences building"
STEEPED Café, operated by USU Dining Services, offers a selection of sandwiches, soup, salad and treats, along with coffee, soft drinks and a variety of teas.
Hours are Monday-Friday, from 7:30 am-3 pm
Artwork in the LSB
The Life Sciences Building features stunning, original artwork made possible by the Utah Percent-for-Art Act, enacted by the Utah Legislature in 1985, which allows for one percent of construction costs for new or remodeled state facilities to be added to the project for the commissioning or acquisition of art.
Artist: Amy Landesberg
Imagining the natural intersection of interests and pursuits for USU’s life scientists, Atlanta-based artist Amy Landesberg quickly hit upon the concept of water.
“But I didn’t want to create merely a representation of water,” she says. “I sought interaction. Something people can experience.”
Short of an actual water feature, how does one manifest water?
Landesberg envisioned glass and her pursuit of how to bring water to life through glass led her to West Virginia’s renowned Blenko Glass, where she found century-old expertise equal to her task.
Surface Tension, which cascades from the Life Sciences Building’s second floor to the ground floor atrium, features perpetually beading droplets of turquoise and green; some of which contain surprising images, unique to USU’s research.
Symbols and Symmetries
Artist: Mark Pomilio
Leaping across the third floor atrium of the Life Sciences Building is artist Mark Pomilio’s multi-planed Symbols and Symmetries.
“The design idea was to create it almost like an organism with that kind of interaction between the parts and the whole, and it made perfect sense with the way I create my pieces,” says Pomilio, associate professor in the School of Art at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
Pomilio initiated the three-dimensional work with a hexagon, a shape found throughout nature, from honeycombs to molecules.
The piece is also inspired by Utah’s unique red rock landscapes.
“Since moving to the western United Stats in 2006, I attempt to travel to Utah’s canyons two or three times a year, as I find these landscapes some of the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced,” he says. “Utah has become my muse.”
Named Labs in the LSB
The Life Sciences Building has several named laboratories, which honor the memories of pioneering individuals, who represented the ideals of the building’s mission: To spark curiosity, advance learning and prepare students to take on the world’s challenges.
Aline W. Skaggs General Biology Laboratories | LSB 108 and 111
A native of Boise, Idaho, Aline Wilmot Skaggs (1926-2015) graduated from Boise High School and Boise Business School. She married Sam Skaggs in 1949, and the couple eventually settled in Salt Lake City. Mr. Skaggs assumed responsibility for Skaggs Payless Drug Stores, which he built into a successful, national business.
Deeply involved in her community, Mrs. Skaggs served on many philanthropic boards and service projects. With her husband, she established The ALSAM Foundation, a family-operated charitable entity, which has provided millions of dollars in support to educational, medical research and social services institutions.
The Aline W. Skaggs General Biology Laboratories provide state-of-the-art learning and research space for USU students in foundational biology classes, that propel them toward enriching careers in life sciences, engineering education, health care, natural resources management and more. Mrs. Skaggs’ aim of providing resources and expertise to “alleviate human suffering” lives on in facilities that enable scholars to pursue new knowledge and prepare for the world’s challenges.
Jan Saalfeld/Juniper Systems, Inc. GIS Laboratory | LSB 225
Born in Vancouver, Washington and raised in Michigan, Janice “Jan” Saalfeld (1952-2010) loved the outdoors and pursued life with passion, purpose, curiosity and compassion.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University, Saalfeld returned to Washington, where she became the first female forestry technician hired by a Boise Cascade timber management team. At the end of the 1970s, she completed a master’s program in forest measurements from Washington State University, during which she created pioneering log-scaling and timber cruising programs for personal computers. She joined WSU Cooperative Extension, through which she trained foresters in the use of these computer programs.
Saalfeld moved to Cache Valley, Utah, in 1983, and began working at Utah State and Omidata International, Inc., a manufacturer of rugged data recorders. At Omnidata, she was instrumental in developing the company’s forestry and natural resources markets. In 1994, as Omnidata transitioned to the HarvestMaster agricultural research company, Saalfeld became director of the company’s new forestry division, Juniper Systems. By 2001, she was named vice president of marketing and sales, as well as a board member.
In 2010, Saalfeld succumbed to a lung disease, but her legacy lives on with a geographic information systems (GIS) Laboratory, donated by Juniper Systems, to enrich Aggies’ learning and research experiences.
Saalfeld modeled integrity, perseverance, equality and courage during her too-short, but inspirational lifetime. It is an honor to share her memory in the new Life Sciences Building.
Dr. Thomas Lee Bahler Advanced Physiology Laboratory | LSB 208
Mention the name of Professor Tom Bahler (1920-2004) to his former students and prepare for sudden reverence, expressions of gratitude and stories of a mentor “who changed my life.”
After joining USU’s science faculty in 1949, with the ink barely dry on his doctoral diploma, Dr. Bahler would devote the next 40 years to teaching and guiding Aggies on the rigorous, and often daunting, path to medical school, dental school and other demanding endeavors.
With humor and compassion, Dr. Bahler instilled the ability to think, reason, evaluate and listen. He not only drilled students in the intricate details of anatomy and physiology, but taught scholars how to be vigilant and empathetic healers.
Generations of Aggies praise Dr. Bahler, as a professor who endeavored to greet each student by name, wrote countless letters of recommendation and propelled students toward life-enhancing opportunities.
A group of Dr. Bahler’s former students donated funds to name the lab in his memory.
Dr. Gene Miller Life Science Garden Laboratory | SW Outdoor Gardens
Along with research and education, plants were Professor Gene W. Miller (1925-2017)’s passion, so it’s fitting the Life Sciences Building features an experimental garden, named in his memory, where Aggies can participate in hands-on learning.
Dr. Miller began his academic career at USU, which was interrupted by World War II. He served in the U.S. Army at the Battle of Bulge and returned to Utah State, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in soil chemistry in 1950 and a master’s degree in 1954. He earned a doctoral degree in plant biochemistry from North Carolina State University in 1957.
Dr. Miller was a professor of plant physiology, mineral nutrition and plant biochemistry for more than 30 years and became the first head of USU’s Department of Biology. He created Baicor, a plant nutrition manufacturing company specializing in liquid fertilizers for foliar and soil research. Baicor was subsequently acquired by the Brandt Group, which donated funding for the Life Sciences Building’s garden laboratory named in Dr. Miller’s honor.