New biology building breaking ground fall 2015

Rachel Musselmann

A new home for the biology department is scheduled to break ground fall 2015, and scheduled to open fall 2017.

According to Michael Antolin, professor and biology department chair, the 5-story building is overdue, as the last campus teaching lab was constructed over 10 years ago.

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“We’re squeezed for space,” Antolin said. “We’ve stuffed biology students into buildings like Anatomy and Zoology, taking up space other departments could have used.”

The $81 million building was funded by a student fee increase approved in spring 2014, University funds and donations, according to Antolin.

“We really wanted to build it with students in mind,” Antolin said. “They put in the money after all.”

The new Biology Building will house 6 new labs and 3 floors dedicated to research, as well as several open study areas, called “idea spaces,” Antolin said.

“There are 1,400 biology majors at CSU right now, but over 60 percent of students will take at least one biology course in their time here,” Antolin said.

Students, like sophomore biology major Kyra Headrick, are excited for the new facilities.

“It will be great for undergrad research,” Headrick said. “It would have been nice to see it in my time at CSU, but I’m glad at least someone gets to benefit.”

Other biology students, like Johnny Clark, think the new building may be an unneeded luxury.

“It will be nice for the department to have its own space, but I think those student fees could have gone somewhere more useful,” Clark said. “There’s nothing wrong with the classrooms we use now.”

Antolin said he hopes the 155,000-square-foot building will serve as an important representation of the biggest major at CSU.

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“We want it to be a gateway to campus, and we designed it beautifully,” Antolin said, “It took me 23 years to get an office with a window, so there will be a lot of glass.”

The new building is a great example of collaboration within the University, Antolin said.

“It’s so cool to see the administration, the college and the students coming together like this,” Antolin said.

More information about the Biology Building, including design models and location, can be found online on the biology department’s webpage.

Collegian reporter Rachel Musselmann can be reached at online at news@collegian.com or on twitter @rmusselmann.