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Building to help Tech compete internationally

This item originally appeared in the January 21, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Tech will soon have another building for students and faculty alike to call home. A new, top-of-the-line research facility will be located between the Institute for Micromanufacturing and Davison Hall. Hold on to your lab samples, students of biomedical engineering.

Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau said this building will be the most complex ever built on Tech's campus.

"The facilities in this building will allow faculty and researchers to compete on an international level," Reneau said.

The building will be on the cutting edge of the exciting field of biomedical engineering. Reneau said the field and the building project are both "very" exciting.

As noted today's front page story, the building has an approximate $8.5 million budget, about $1.9 million higher than the original estimate.

The first estimate of $6.6 million was soon dismissed; the extra money was raised through donations and requests for additional funding.

The new building will be 52,000 square feet of biomedical engineering bliss. Dr. Stan Napper, dean of the College of Engineering and Sciences, said there will be a "Collaboration Alley" to connect the new building to the IfM building.

This will promote teamwork and collaboration between the faculty and students of both facilities.

The story on the front page said the building will be a tremendous teaching facility and a major research facility. That came from Jerry Drewett, the vice president of administrative services.

This advance in the program will boost Tech into the forefront of biomedical engineering, allowing Tech to compete on a national and international level.

The plans for this building have been in the works for about a year and a half. Bids will open in Baton Rouge, soon. A contractor will be hired, construction will begin and a biomedical engineering building will have a place to call home.

Napper also said the start date and duration of construction can all be negotiated after the contractor is selected.

How does Reneau feel, personally? He is very pleased and grateful Tech can get the new building this quickly. He is appreciative of the state.

It is not common knowledge that Reneau has a personal stake in this endeavor. It can even be called a milestone in his career. He established the biomedical engineering program at Tech in 1972.

In those days the biomedical engineering building was on Vienna Street, where the Green Clinic used to be.

Reneau requested the additional funding for this new building when Gov. Kathleen Blanco toured Tech's campus. The Tech Talk was there to witness this great endeavor by one of our own.

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