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Purdue celebrates dedication of new animal sciences complex

Purdue University will formally dedicate its new $60 million, 123,000-square-foot animal sciences complex in a ceremony on March 22.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels welcomes guests at the formal dedication of Purdue’s new $60 million, 123,000-square-foot animal sciences complex Thursday (March 22). Karen Plaut, interim dean of agriculture, is at right. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

The facility boosts the university’s commitment to Indiana’s vital food animal production industry by establishing a center for interactive student learning, advanced research, and enhanced extension programming.

“These wonderful state-of-the art classrooms, laboratories, and interactive spaces bring together students, faculty, and staff in ways that will foster collaboration, spark new ideas, and move the animal industry forward,” said university President Mitch Daniels. “We are very grateful to everyone who helped make this day possible.”

The nearly 90,000-square-foot Hobart and Russell Creighton Hall of Animal Sciences is a three-floor structure housing research laboratories, classrooms designed for interactive and team-based learning, conference rooms for Extension activities, and open spaces to facilitate faculty and student interactions. It also contains offices for the department’s faculty and staff, graduate students, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service’s Livestock Behavior Unit, and staff of Indiana animal regulatory agencies.

“Hobart and Russell Creighton were great visionaries. Our family believes they would be so pleased with Creighton Hall and how it will enhance Purdue’s fulfillment of the land-grant mission and the work of the Animal Sciences department,” said Eddie Creighton, chairman of the board of egg producer Creighton Brothers LLC of Warsaw, Indiana, and a second-generation family owner. “Since our company’s inception, we have enjoyed a close partnership with the university, and we look forward to seeing the impact this facility will have on the animal agriculture industry.” 

building on Purdue campus
Land O’Lakes, Inc. Center for Experiential Learning

The 24,662-square-foot Land O’Lakes, Inc. Center for Experiential Learning includes research and teaching space for meat and protein sciences. It will also house the Boilermaker Butcher Block, a retail shop where animal sciences students learn how to tenderize, cut, and age meat, in addition to sanitation and food safety practices. The adjoining 7,800-square-foot Purina Pavilion hosts teaching, Extension, extracurricular, and youth events focusing on livestock care, handling, and evaluation.

“At Land O’Lakes, we are proud of our deep and enduring partnership with Purdue University,” said Chris Policinski, president and CEO of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “The Land O’Lakes, Inc. Center for Experiential Learning, as part of the Purdue animal sciences complex, is a physical reminder of our joint commitment to the future of agriculture and its most important asset, the next generation. We look forward to seeing what Purdue students will contribute to what I believe is the greatest growth industry of our time.”

More than 400 guests attended the formal dedication of Purdue’s new animal sciences complex Thursday (March 22). (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Tom Campbell)

Indiana’s livestock industry is a $6 billion business, accounting for more than 35,000 jobs.

“Producers have for years looked to the Purdue College of Agriculture and Department of Animal Sciences for the latest research and Extension information and for graduates who are professionals – forward thinking with practical experience,” said Karen Plaut, interim dean. “With these new facilities, we are well-positioned to continue our high-level support for an agricultural sector to meet the challenges of feeding a growing global population.”

The dedication ceremony represents the culmination of a three-year process. In May 2015, Purdue’s Board of Trustees approved the construction of an agricultural and life sciences facility that was designated as the university’s top priority in a 10-year capital plan submitted to the state. Ground was broken on Nov. 6, 2015, at the corner of Harrison and Russell Streets on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

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