Ground-filling Held for Class of 1954 Chemistry Research Building at Yale

On November 19, 2003 chemistry department Chairman Gary Brudvig hosted the formal groundbreaking for the “Class of 1954” Chemistry Research Building at Yale University. Excavation began this past summer and foundation walls are now being erected.

“This is a great day for the Chemistry department,” Brudvig said as he introduced the Provost and members of the building planning committee.

“The construction of this building marks the second of five new facilities in Yale’s $500 million commitment to research and teaching on Science Hill. The advanced state of construction indicates that we are well on our way, and not just beginning, the extensive plan that will produce 1.3 million gross square feet of renovation and new construction,” noted Provost Susan Hockfield.

Hockfield said the clustering of buildings and facilities provides both physical proximity and interconnectedness for the research programs.

John Tully, professor and Chemistry Building Committee Chairman, called the facility “a jewel that will attract new faculty and students and enhance research and teaching.”

Frederick Ziegler, professor and Chemistry Research Building Chairman noted that this is the ninth chemistry building at Yale in 250 years and the first new building in 40 years. The $63 million building will contain thirty-seven 4-person laboratories for “hood-intensive”, inorganic, organic and biorganic chemistry research.

The state-of-the-art building symbolizes the “architect” as a team rather than an individual and reflects the cooperation and creativity of the faculty, the designers and the university, according to Jon Jackson, a principal in Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the design architect for the project. They are working in cooperation with Cannon Design of Boston, who have been involved with the laboratory design.

Hard hats and shovels were given to the principal speakers and key personnel, and vials of earth from the excavation were available for all participants as mementos.

A reception and champagne toast followed in the lobby of Sterling Chemistry Building.

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