The IFAS Facilities, Planning and Operations team had the opportunity to show Dr. Scott Angle, the new Vice President for UF/IFAS, some of our facilities on main campus yesterday and to explain some of the current issues and projects. There is a lot of exciting progress happening while things are a bit quiet at UF. Here are a few highlights of things in the works:
- The growth chambers project. Marking a new day for collaboration and shared facilities, building 711 to the east of Fifield Hall will house many new growth chambers for our faculty who work with plants from all departments. There will be a system to “rent” the use of the facility and to share and manage the costs. This was a dream of several individuals for a long time, and the funding from the baseball stadium relocation to a UF/IFAS site allowed this to become a reality.
- The Agronomy complex. After swapping buildings within UF/IFAS departments, many Agronomy faculty will now be co-located near each other across Archer Road. There are greenhouses, lab spaces, and a general refresh and modernization of the site to improve the spaces for our faculty, staff and students to work. Finally we were able to locate sewer lines to this property to get it off of septic (and flushing of toilets can happen happily without issues).
- Animal Sciences is renovating lots of space, including a laboratory for a new faculty member and spaces for its graduate students. Of probably more excitement for Animal Sciences is that UF Transportation and Parking Services is finally expanding parking in the area with shoring up Ritchie Road for perpendicular parking and fixing up a parking lot behind the animal sciences buildings. There is also a plan to place a parking deck on the parking lot closer to SW 16th Avenue.
- A new 8-pack greenhouse complex is coming along in the greenhouse area along Hull and Mowry Road, primarily for Horticultural Sciences faculty. The department has hired a facilities manager and his presence is being felt already with his attention to detail and interest in showcasing the teaching spaces which are now very visible with the completion of the baseball stadium. Also the new road is open that connects from IFAS Research Drive over to Natural Area Drive, which means you don’t have to drive through the parking lot to go to visit our entomology friends.
- There are also several smaller scale projects improving heating and cooling for various buildings. Not only does it help the functionality of the building but it also helps our bottom line utility costs in the long run.
- While we haven’t shown it to Dr. Angle yet, the new flooring and lighting in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Pilot Plant kitchen really make it look spiffy. There are commercial scale kitchen items in there including fermenters, a mixer, pasta maker, and so much more to be used by classes and for demonstrations.