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December 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

Nellis Calls Chemistry Groundbreaking ‘Exciting Day for Ohio University’

Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis called the groundbreaking for a new chemistry building “an exciting day for Ohio University” as construction gets under way on a major academic building on campus.

“It’s been a a few years since we’ve had a focus on a new building for the academic core of our university, and chemistry is certainly an important part of that,” Nellis said at the Aug. 30 ceremony.

President M. Duane Nellis makes remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new chemistry building at Ohio University.

President M. Duane Nellis makes remarks at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new chemistry building at Ohio University.

Ohio University’s new chemistry building will be a state-of-the-art 69,000 square-foot facility featuring

  • Student and faculty collaboration spaces
  • Research laboratories
  • Faculty and graduate student offices

The new building is projected to open in the summer of 2020 and is considered phase 1 of the Clippinger renovation project. Phases 2 and 3 will follow in Clippinger as space is available to shift labs, offices, and classroom into the new building. The project is estimated to cost $42.6 million. See “New Chemistry Building Provides Window into 21st Century Research.”

Shovelers in a line, lifting dirt, from left, Maddie Sloat, Student Senate President; Dr. Joseph Shields, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; Dr. David Scholl, Chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees; Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis; Dr. Chaden Djalali, Executive Vice President and Provost; and Maria Modayil, President of the Graduate Student Senate.

From left, Maddie Sloat, Student Senate President; Dr. Joseph Shields, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; Dr. David Scholl, Chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees; Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis; Dr. Chaden Djalali, Executive Vice President and Provost; and Maria Modayil, President of the Graduate Student Senate.

“To the Ohio University Board of Trustees, thank you for your investment and support in approving funding for this project, and thank you to the many faculty and administrators and community partners who made today a reality. It truly is such an exciting time to be at Ohio University,” Nellis said, acknowledging the many people involved in the new building project.

Dr. David Scholl, Chair of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, remarked that “much work that has brought us to this groundbreaking today, starting in 2014 when the Board of Trustees issued a Century Bond, launching an innovative funding strategy designed to address the university’s deferred maintenance projects without accumulating additional debt. Revenue from that strategy, coupled with state capital, is funding this $42.6 million project.”

Architect's rendering of the new Chemistry Building.

Architect’s rendering of the new Chemistry Building. Courtesy of BHDP + Flad Architects.

Scholl noted the new building “will change the landscape of the Athens Campus and elevate OHIO’s standing as a leading-edge public research university…. In gathering here today, we celebrate more than investment in our infrastructure. We celebrate an investment in our faculty and staff and the scholarly work that they do. We celebrate an investment in the Ohio University students of today and tomorrow. And, we celebrate an investment in knowledge and learning, which will benefit our region, our state and our world.”

Dr. Kevin King, left, and Dr. Corey Beck, welcome corporate community members Joe Walter and Becky '94.

Dr. Kevin King, left, and Dr. Corey Beck, welcome corporate community members Joe Walter and Becky ’94.

Dr. Chaden Djalali, the university’s new Executive Vice President and Provost, said the building “will strengthen our educational community, enhance our national research and creative profile, and foster a culture of collaboration and exploration across the university. In doing so, we reaffirm the foundation of our educational mission and solidify our commitment to cultivating the next generation of scientists and scholars.

From left, professors emeriti Dr. Paul Sullivan and Dr. Kenneth Brown with Associate Provost Dr. Howard Dewald.

From left, professors emeriti Dr. Paul Sullivan and Dr. Kenneth Brown with Associate Provost Dr. Howard Dewald.

As Dr. Joseph Shields, Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, opened the ceremony in Clippinger Laboratories, he welcomed gusts to chemistry’s current home, “a place where I have worked, discovered, taught, and learned alongside many dedicated OHIO colleagues and students for more than 20 years.

James Tong attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

Professor Emeritus James Tong attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Today, we write yet another chapter in the history of both the College of Arts & Sciences and Ohio University, taking the first physical steps in the construction of a new space dedicated to scientific learning, collaboration, research and discovery,” Shields continued. “Where now stands a parking lot will less than two years from now stand a 69,000-square-foot, three-story, state-of-the-art facility. The building’s first floor will put our research on display, housing undergraduate instructional laboratories, student collaboration spaces and a Research Instrument Facility. The second and third floors will feature research laboratories, faculty and graduate student offices, as well as collaboration and conference rooms with picturesque views of South Green and Emeriti Park.”

From left, Associate Provost Howard Dewald and Professor Emeritus Gene Westenbarger

From left, Associate Provost Howard Dewald and Professor Emeritus Gene Westenbarger

Shields emphasized, “It is important to note that the construction of this new building devoted to chemistry is only the first part of a multi-phase investment in construction and renovation to bring our facilities that support physical science research and teaching up to 21st-century standards, and to enable our students and faculty now housed in Clippinger Labs to remain at the forefront of their disciplines. It is all the more exciting to know that our ground-breaking today is only the start of this much larger endeavor.”

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