Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SHSU Animal Testing Lab Construction Underway

The Huntsville Item reported (Sep. 9) that the university's new animal testing lab, or vivarium, is being constructed:
The Sycamore Vivarium will have four animal holding rooms, housing primarily mice and rats, and a procedure room. The building will hopefully be open in the spring, according to John Pascarella, dean of the College of Sciences.

“It is a replacement building for the vivarium on campus,” he said. “We needed to upgrade to get consistent environmental control. It will serve any type of research involving mice or also rats.”

The cost of the project is estimated at about $1.6 million funded by Texas State University System bonds. FKP Architects and Vaughn Construction were hired to complete the project.

Pascarella said the vivarium on campus was disbanded in the fall of 2012 until the new location could be completed. In a letter to the TSUS Board of Regents, the university said the project’s construction has an estimated completion date of December 2014.

In other campus news:
  • The university is also working on constructing a nursing wing in The Woodlands Center on the fourth floor valued at $1 million. That will provide clinical learning space to that campus, which is beginning a program targeting practicing registered nurses who are trying to get their bachelors degree. WHR Architects and Vaughn Construction are working on that project. It has an estimated completion date also in December 2014.
  • The Fred Pirkle Engineering Technology Center is getting nearer construction after additional funds were secured from donation funds over the 2013-14 school year. The building’s namesake donated more than $10 million for the building and the university needed to match the rest. After an $11 million donation drive, the university was able to put about $4 million into the project’s construction. The engineering building will house the future programs for the engineering technology program, as well as consolidate existing programs currently being taught in multiple location. The Lawrence Group Architects and the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company are leading the project’s design and construction.
  • Design is also being worked on for the South Residential Complex and related infrastructure totaling more than $71 million. That includes two 335-bed residence halls at about 105,000 square feet for each building.

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