Tuskegee University breaks ground on new science building
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 25, 2012) — Tuskegee University will be expanding science education with the addition of a new building to its 5,000-acre campus. In a ceremony on Friday on land between Milbank and Campbell halls, ground was broken on the James Henry Meriwether Henderson Hall Agricultural Life Science Teaching, Extension and Research Building. The facility will be more than 40,000 square feet, and will house laboratories and a seminar room for use by students.
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon praised the addition to the campus, and said the building is part of the university’s ongoing efforts to help improve agricultural studies and the livelihoods of farmers in the Black Belt region. He mentioned recent groundbreakings on the Black Belt Family Farm Fruit and Vegetable Marketing and Innovation Center in Selma, Ala., and the Carver Integrative Sustainability Center on campus.
“We’re privileged with this triad of facilities that all have a link with agriculture. All have a link to science and have a link with the new Ph.D. program in agricultural and environmental engineering,” Rochon said.
The building is expected to be completed by May 2013. The architects are Turner Associates of Atlanta and the builders are Brasfield and Gorrie, also of Atlanta. The project manager for the building construction is C&R. The project is estimated to cost more than $13 million and the LEED-certified building will also feature many energy-efficient mechanical and plumbing elements such as a rainwater harvesting system that will collect water for landscape irrigation and motion sensors that turn off lights when rooms are not in use.
The building will have state-of-the-art technology features such as data connections and wireless Internet throughout the building, and rooms with video conferencing capabilities. Also, the building will have “super labs” that can accommodate up to 48 students at the same time.
“We’re in the construction phase of one of the most creative and innovative science buildings that has been designed by our firm in the last 35 years,” said alumnus Cubell Bain of Turner Associates.
The building is named after the late James Henry Meriwether Henderson, a Tuskegee professor and administrator who spent more than 50 years at the university. He came to Tuskegee in 1945 and taught botany and plant physiology. He also served as head of the biology department, chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and director of the Carver Research Foundation. Henderson died in 2009.
The ceremony was moderated by Walter A. Hill, dean of the College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences. The program included remarks from former students of Henderson such as Louis Maxwell, Macon County Commission chairman; and retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, chair of the university’s board of trustees. Henderson’s widow and members of his extended family were also present at the ceremony.
One of Henderson’s four children, Edwin B. Henderson II of Falls Church, Va., shared some memories of his father’s attention to detail and dedication to science and serving his community.
“I am sure this will be an example and a symbol of his life here at Tuskegee,” Henderson said about the project.
Tuskegee University broke ground on the James Henry Meriwether Henderson Hall Agricultural Life Science Teaching, Extension and Research Building on Friday. The facility will be more than 40,000 square feet, and will house laboratories and a seminar room for use by students. It is expected to be completed by May 2013.
An artist's rendering of Henderson Hall.
© 2012 Tuskegee University