July 21-Aug. 3, 2000
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Environmental sciences to expand its environment
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Peggy Harrison
Heave ho(e)! Assuring the crowd not to worry because he had years of experience operating heavy equipment -- with his, and later his son's Tonka toys -- a beaming Jim Galloway, chair of environmental sciences, climbed onto a backhoe July 13 and broke ground for his department's addition to Clark Hall. Renovations will provide much-needed and long-awaited laboratory space, as well as improve the Science and Engineering Library.

Environmental sciences to expand its environment

By Rebecca Arrington and Fariss Samarrai

When James Galloway, chair of the U.Va. Department of Environmental Sciences, climbed aboard a backhoe July 13 and broke ground for the new addition to Clark Hall, it was a move closer to making a dream become reality.

The four-story, 45,000-square-foot addition will provide much-needed laboratory and computational space for the department and the Science and Engineering Library.

In remarks made shortly before revving up the earth-moving machine, Galloway thanked alumnus Paul Tudor Jones for his generosity. The new wing is being financed in part by a $10 million gift from the donor, who has long championed environmental causes. The gift also comes with the "Paul Tudor Jones Challenge," which requires the University to raise an additional $10 million for endowed professorships, scholarships, fellowships, field and laboratory equipment, and a general department endowment.

The state is providing additional money to renovate the existing portions of Clark Hall. Galloway also recognized Dave Smith, department co-chair, for his efforts over the past four years in championing the renovation project.

The first interdisciplinary department of its kind in the nation, environmental sciences was formed in 1969. It integrates several scientific disciplines, including ecology, hydrology and earth and atmospheric sciences. In addition to training future scientists, the department teaches undergraduate students the basics of environmental awareness -- strongly based in sound scientific principles -- to create informed citizens and future leaders.

"It's been a long time coming," said Shirley Menaker, associate provost for academic support, of the new addition and building renovation. "I have only been involved in the process since the beginning of 1996; many in this audience have been working on it, and dreaming of it, for many years before that."

Construction of the addition is scheduled to begin in the fall and will be completed in the spring of 2002. Beginning in the summer of 2001, Clark Hall will undergo a renovation to create additional classroom and office space as labs are moved to the new addition.

University Librarian Karin Wittenborg said Clark Hall's new Science and Engineering Library will include air-conditioned stacks, an electronic classroom and another grand reading room with a skylight. An elevator and grand staircase will also be built in, providing better access to the library stacks.

"In this era of environmental awareness, information technology and biotechnology, our students are turning increasingly to science and engineering and we must have the resources to train them well, if we are to maintain our strength as a national university," Menaker said. "This renovation and addition gives us a good start on these new resources." 

 

 


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