Federal officials joined leaders from Washington State University to break ground on a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Plant Sciences Building on the Pullman campus.
The university says it has worked for 20 years to secure support for this new facility. The project dates back to 2003, and ultimately received nearly $125 million in federal funding for the building, which is slated to open in 2025.
The site was formerly occupied by Johnson Hall, which was demolished earlier this year.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the new facility will not only be a place for discovery but also a resource that farmers will benefit from in the form of new techniques and greater insight into the vital work they do.
The university’s departments of Plant Pathology, Crop and Soil sciences, and Horticulture will occupy the new building alongside federal scientists and four ARS research units: Wheat Health, Genetics and Quality; Grain Legume Genetics and Physiology; Northwest Sustainable Agroecosystems; and Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing.
Working on behalf of ARS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interagency and International Services program is providing the planning, environmental, contracting, design and construction contract oversight for this project, the USDA says.