Wright State University’s Lake Campus will start construction on a new building that will be completed by the winter of 2018.
The Lake Campus’s Agriculture and Water Quality Center will be a 8,190 square-foot building and will cost $3 million to construct. The state is paying $1.5 million for the project and the remainder will be raised by Wright State, according to the school.
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The building will include two classrooms that each seat 24 students and can be combined into one large educational conference room.
It also will feature an agricultural lab for diverse hands-on activities and research, a lab for water quality research and education and a lobby and conference area that will be used as a student lounge and event space with the capacity to serve up to 100 people, according to WSU.
WSU’s Lake Campus in 2008 began offering agricultural elective courses that were part of existing degree programs. Since then, several certificates and degrees in agriculture and food systems management have been created.
More than 50 students are enrolled in agriculture and food science programs and courses cover topics such as animal science, animal health, nutrient management and agriculture finance, according to WSU. The university’s Lake Campus is located in Celina, Ohio near Grand Lake St. Marys.
“This new center will be a powerhouse of agriculture education and the study of water quality,” said Jay Albayyari, dean and chief administrative officer of Lake Campus. “It will supply the region with an increasingly rich pool of agribusiness leaders and scientists capable of helping maintain the area’s vitally important water resources.”
Construction on the new building begins as Wright State is in the midst of a budget crisis as the school must slash $25 million from its upcoming budget while also boosting reserves by $5 million.
Less than two weeks ago, the university announced it would likely lay off 71 employees while also leaving 107 positions vacant. Although it operates on a separate budget, the Lake Campus has been asked to give $1 million back to WSU as part of the budget cuts.