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University unveils Biosciences Building


President George Ross and other members of the opening ceremony cut the ribbon to welcome Central Michigan University students to the Biosciences Building on Sept. 22.

By Jan. 2017, the 169,000 square-foot, long-awaited Biosciences Building will house faculty from the biology department and offer classes to students studying the biological sciences after months of construction.

The ribbons were cut on the largest capital project in university history Thursday during the grand opening of the $95 million Biosciences Building.

The event featured speeches from University President George Ross, members of the CMU Board of Trustees and faculty. Following the ribbon cutting, graduate students using the new facility for research gave attendees a tour of the building.

“This building demonstrates our commitment to advancing STEM programs and providing academic experiences that are second to none,” Ross said. “From their first months on campus, our students have a chance to gain unparalleled research experience and this building will enhance that.”

The building will house 40 faculty, from multiple colleges and five departments, dedicated to research and education in the biosciences. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with professors on research that will provide the experience necessary to join the professional world, Ross said.

“One of the reasons we don’t call this a biology building is because bioscience is broader than what was defined as biology 15 (to) 30 years ago,” Provost Michael Gealt said. “This building is spectacular and will allow great things to happen in biology, in the largest terms.”

Board of Trustees Chair Sarah Opperman explained how the project’s ideation began in 2002.

It was just a conversation, Opperman said, but a tour of Brooks Hall highlighted the necessity for a new research-based science building.

“Every detail of this building serves a purpose in providing students with the hands-on learning that we value and that employers seek,” Opperman said. “Most importantly, this building supports student success. We are all committed in everything we do, no matter what our respective responsibilities are.”

Brent Piligian, a senior studying Biomedical Sciences, said he is jealous of incoming students who are going to be able to use the new building in their academic studies. He said CMU’s commitment to student research allowed him to co-author four papers and present his research at national conferences.

“The opportunity to take part in undergraduate research has significantly changed my life,” Piligian said. “I have always wanted to go to medical school, but now I know the integration of medicine and research is in my future.”

Tracy Galarowicz, chairperson of the Biology Department, said faculty were encouraged to say or share what they wanted and expected in the new building. Instructors began moving in Sept. 9. All 40 faculty members will be settled in by the end of October.

“Our own students will be building their own memories in biosciences,” Galarowicz said. “Their experience in this building is going to be a part of their CMU experience.”