New research building expected to draw faculty to Morgan State

October 18, 2003|By Jonathan Bor | Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF

Morgan State University formally opened yesterday a $23.3 million scientific research building that will allow young scientists and faculty to pursue frontiers in biology, chemistry and physics.

The Richard N. Dixon Science Research Center includes 26 research laboratories, a greenhouse and a 100-seat amphitheater.

The concrete-and-glass structure is joined by an overhead bridge to the old science building, which will remain in use. It was named after the former state treasurer, a Morgan graduate.

Among its features is a "clean room," a climate-controlled lab with a filtration system that keeps the air free of dust particles larger than 0.5 microns. This enables researchers to conduct physics experiments without risk that the indoor air will influence the results.

T. Joan Robinson, dean of the school of computer, mathematics and natural sciences, said the building should help the university draw accomplished faculty and compete for grants.

"I'm excited because were are moving to enhance our capabilities and become known not only in the national arena but in the international arena as well," she said.

Research will include studies in cellular and molecular biology, cells and tissues and environmental toxicology.

Construction of the three-story, 48,500-square-foot structure, which began less than a year ago, was completed in late summer. Though some faculty will remain in the old building, others are already moving into the new building.

The center, built with state funds, officially opened today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"This center is a vital part of my vision for moving Morgan into a new era as one of this state's premier research universities," said President Earl S. Richardson.

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