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Purdue University's Animal Science Complex Back on Front Burner

Purdue University's Animal Science Complex Back on Front Burner

Planning and fundraising for building a new animal science complex at Purdue is well underway but more funds are needed.

Rumors of moving the Purdue Animal Science Department into a new building, constructing a slaughterhouse and pavilion, and revamping both Lilly Hall and Smith Hall are on the drawing board on the Agricultural campus on the south side of State Street in West Lafayette. Some are long term goals, others are closer to reality.

"Our priority is to build a building so we can relocate the animal science faculty all in one place," says Jay Akridge, Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture.

Right now, they're spread out in five different buildings. At least three of those buildings have structural issues and will need to come down at some point in the future.

Hope for future expansion: Jay Akridge, Dean of the Purdue College of Agriculture, says the college hopes to build a building that can house the animal science program in one place.

Purdue had artist's renderings of the plan and even an idea about where the complex would be located. Right now they're raising money for the project.

Related: Number of Farm Kids Enrolled in Ag at Purdue Shrinking

"We've already raised a sizable sum and are looking for more donations from anyone who would like to contribute," Akridge says.

If a donor would like to see their name on a building, such as was the case with the Beck Ag Center at the Purdue Agronomy Research Center, the door is still open – no potential buildings have been named, he says.

The key to completing the funding for the first phase of the project will be to ask the legislature for funding to help reach the goal. Akridge hopes that the university will make it a top priority for the 2014-2015 long session of the legislature which is dedicated to budgeting and finances.

The project has been the top priority twice before, but it was during the recession years, and no capital projects were funded at Purdue. He's hoping this time will be different.

Right now the slaughter facility for teaching purposes and meat science classes is located in Smith Hall. Long-range plans call for saving and redoing the historic part of that building, and revamping the portions added later on either side.

The challenge is keeping up with technology to have teaching and research facilities that are equipped with modern technology.

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