A new home for collaborative agricultural research – WSU Insider

Washington State University will celebrate the opening of the new Plant Sciences Building, a state-of-the-art home on the Pullman Campus for collaborative research supporting regional and global agriculture.

The new facility will be virtually dedicated through a commemorative video to be released November 16, 2020. Featuring university and college leaders, students, and agricultural and legislative partners, the video can be viewed through the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resources Science Website (CAHNRS).

The latest addition to the V. Lane Rawlins Research and Education Complex on the Pullman Campus, the $66 million building was funded by the Washington State Legislature. Construction began in 2018 and was completed this fall.

The four-story, 82,400 square foot building supports Washington’s $51 billion food and agriculture industry by providing a modern research venue for faculty, staff and students at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, molecular plant science program of WSU and parts of the departments. horticulture, plant pathology and crop and soil sciences. These programs were previously located at Johnson Hall, built in 1959, and Clark Hall, built in 1971.

“This is a massive improvement in the quality of our laboratory space,” said CAHNRS Dean André-Denis Wright. “The labs we have now were built decades ago and were designed for a single research program. Now we can welcome CAHNRS professors from four departments and foster both applied and basic research, from discovering how plants grow and interact with the soil, to solving specific problems in agriculture.

Partnership for the Future of Agriculture

CAHNRS relied on the participation of members from the state’s grain, fruit tree, wine, grape, potato, dairy, beef, and raspberry industries, as well as Washington State Department of Agriculture and the Washington Farm Bureau in the development of the facility.

“It’s not just a building, it’s a braintrust for the future of Washington agriculture,” said Vicky Scharlau, executive director of the Washington Winegrowers Association. “By understanding fundamental plant processes, people here today are creating the foundation for the agriculture of tomorrow.”

“Agriculture is our state’s largest employer,” said Sen. Mark Schoesler, a grain farmer from Ritzville. “WSU has been our partner in advancing the agricultural economy for over 100 years. This project helps us move from facilities built when I was born to modern factory buildings and keeps us at the forefront of all aspects of plant science. This benefits both the consumer and the producer and will be an asset for our grandchildren.

“This remarkable building is not only a tremendous asset to researchers working in plant science, but also represents another bold step in our Drive to 25,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “This facility would not have been possible without the extraordinary leadership of key elected officials, including State Senators Jim Honeyford, Judy Warnick, David Frockt and Mark Schoesler. They understood this building’s vision to ensure Washington’s leading role in agriculture, both nationally and globally, and create a more productive and sustainable world.

The Plant Sciences Building was designed by Seattle-based LMN Architects and built by Skanska.

© Adam Hunter/LMN Architects

“The new Plant Science Building provides state-of-the-art research facilities that are interconnected to the Research and Education Complex, and the broader research culture on the Washington State University campus,” said Stephen Van Dyck, LMN Partner, AIA. . “At each level of the building, we have designed shared spaces adjacent to the central spine of the complex, enhancing the interdisciplinary layout of the complex and encouraging spontaneous interaction.

Based in open-concept labs that foster collaboration, Plant Sciences Building scientists will use new technologies to explore complex plant traits, defend against pests and diseases, and improve the nation’s cyberinfrastructure, among other efforts. The knowledge developed here will help improve hundreds of important crops including wheat, potatoes, apples, cherries, legumes, forest trees and turf.

Media contact

  • Brandon Schrand, director of communications (acting), WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences; 509-335-2843 or [email protected]

Lana T. Arthur