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This item originally appeared in the May 13, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

State funding, assistance from area contributors and the support of the university's biomedical engineering community have culminated in the completion of the plans for a modern biomedical engineering building on campus.

Area contributors and university administrators celebrated the achievement at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ropp Center.

Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau said donations were made by many contributors, such as Humana Corporation, which gave $350,000 to add to the self-generated funds.

Initial state funding for the project provided $6.3 million of the building's cost. Federal funds supplied $500,000, the state Humana match provided an additional $330,000 and the engineering foundation gave $300,000.

Individual Humana matches from area contributors made available $395,000 and company Humana matches provided $25,000.

The dinner Saturday was to celebrate the $1.9 million raised so far to expand the engineering building, to honor Reneau and his family and to ask for donations to finish the third floor of the building.

Reneau said, "We look forward to building one of the finest, advanced and most complex buildings constructed at Louisiana Tech."

Dr. Stanley Napper, interim dean for the College of Engineering and Science, said the biomedical engineering community at Tech has dreams of a new building that will enhance the prominence of the department and expand capabilities for research and instruction.

"The architects have done a good job of designing a building that combines traditional elements already on campus and a more modern architecture for the atrium," Napper said.

The primary two-story part of the building, Napper said, will be located near the Institute for Micromanufacturing and has architecture especially reminiscent of Bogard Hall.

On the east end of the building, the atrium will be a more modern glass-and-brick area to host receptions, technical poster presentations and other events.

Another aspect of the building will be a one-story wing that will extend to the main building used for the business and technology incubator.

Napper said, "It will be a place for small start-up companies to begin development of products and marketing plans."

A unique aspect of the building will be air-conditioned, covered walkway that will connect the IfM and the biomedical engineering building.

"The walkway is to promote collaboration among faculty and students in the two buildings," Napper said.

Collaboration spaces are major features that will be available on the first floor as well as class labs and research labs for rehabilitation engineering and neural engineering.

Napper said the second floor will house faculty offices, common equipment labs and nanobiotechnology research labs.

The third floor is designed to house mechanical equipment such as heat, ventilation and air conditioning and additional 8,000 square feet of unfinished space for future expansion.

Corre Stegall, vice president for University Advancement, assisted Reneau, along with the Division of University Advancement, in raising funds for the project.

Stegall said construction on the building will begin in the next academic year.

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