Oregon State University officials and their honored guests unveiled the Department of Animal and Rangeland Sciences’ $3.5 million new building at a public ceremony on Friday.
The Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility is on the corner of Southwest 35th Street and Southwest Campus Way, and its grand opening was observed by students, faculty and alumni.
Donors and university leaders who helped to realize construction of the project spoke at the ceremony, including John Killefer, professor and head of animal and rangeland sciences, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader and OSU President Ed Ray.
“This is going to be a great new opportunity for our students,” Killefer said.
The building’s namesake, James E. Oldfield, attended with his family and heard accolades from the featured speakers.
“This reflects the long-standing generosity of the agricultural industry that made this project possible,” Ray said.
Oldfield received his doctorate from OSU in 1950 and continued at the university as a researcher in the field of selenium nutrition in mammals. He also served for a time as head of the animal sciences department, which recently merged with rangeland ecology and management to form animal and rangeland sciences.
Killefer said the Oldfield Animal Teaching Facility is the first structure to be built as part of a four-building complex for the department. Total cost: $8 million.
While there is no set date to break ground for the other buildings, Killefer said that construction on the next one, an agricultural systems management center, could begin as early as this winter.
The project is funded by state bonds and by private donations through the Campaign for OSU, which has raised about $4 million toward its completion.
Construction partners on the teaching facility included Lowell Fausett and Essex General Construction, Inc.
For Killefer, the improved building, with two classrooms, four laboratories and the demonstration area, is long overdue. More than 500 undergraduates are enrolled in the program. One of them, senior Alexa Orr, was enthusiastic about the closer proximity of classroom and lab area, where lessons can be applied to animals.
“Hands-on experiences at OSU have helped shaped my career,” she said. “Our abilities are no longer hindered by capacity or equipment.”
Joce DeWitt can be contacted at 758-9510 or email@example.com.