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Novel underground nanoscience facility to be named for Lorry Lokey
A $10 million gift from Business Wire founder Lorry I. Lokey to the University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences is launching construction of a two-phase $76 million Integrative Science Complex.
The building will be the first major construction for the sciences to be completed on campus since 1990.
The university is saluting Lokey's visionary support of scientific research by naming the first phase of the complex-a novel new underground research facility-in his honor.
University President Dave Frohnmayer and Governor Ted Kulongoski made the announcement this morning during a groundbreaking ceremony marking the public launch of the project. Lokey's gifts to the university now total $32 million.
The first phase of the Integrative Science Complex, the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories, is an approximately 30,000-gross-square-foot signature research center associated with the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), a consortium that includes the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, and the region's high technology companies.
In addition to semiconductor, photolithography, nanofabrication and bio-optics labs, the center will house more than 20 high-technology instruments operated by the university's Center for Advanced Materials Characterization in Oregon (CAMCOR) and will provide laboratory space for industry partners.
"These new facilities support our goals for a vibrant Oregon economy," Kulongoski said. "Investing in education, research and industry partnerships will pay long-term dividends for the entire state."
Lokey was on hand to observe the start of removal of about 2,700 tons of soil and bedrock from the project site. "We need to support the sciences for the sake of our health and our future environment," he said. "I want the University of Oregon to be able to get moving on discoveries that otherwise might not happen."
Frohnmayer said the new facilities will unite scientists from across the spectrum under a single roof-a move designed to stimulate new, collaborative approaches to complex challenges that require intensive, coordinated research efforts.
"The University of Oregon is well positioned as a leader for integrative science because of the high quality of our scientific research," Frohnmayer said. "We have many of the state's top graduate programs in the sciences. Our campus is renowned for a tradition of innovation through interdisciplinary research, and our science faculty includes many of the world's best in green nanoscience, cognitive neuroscience, and zebrafish research."
The planned facilities also reflect two of the highest priorities for interdisciplinary scientific research at the university, according to Rich Linton, vice president for research and graduate studies.
"The emergence of collaborative initiatives involving neuroscience and nanoscience has been so successful that the case for enhanced research facilities is absolutely compelling," Linton said. "The new laboratories will advance the work of numerous UO centers and institutes connected to these initiatives, ranging from neuroscience and molecular biology to materials science and optics."
The underground laboratories will be constructed beneath what is currently known as the Science Green, between Deschutes and Huestis halls on East Thirteenth Avenue. The project architects, SRG Partnership of Portland, have also designed a courtyard to cover the Lokey Laboratories, which will contain skylights and preserve the existing open space.
The rare bedrock setting is expected to provide the sensitive instruments used for nanoscience with a vibration level that is two to three times lower than the "gold standard" set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to ONAMI co-founder David Johnson, a UO chemistry professor.
"Lokey Laboratories will offer a world-class high tech extension service available to researchers from all venues," Johnson said. "Our operating philosophy of open access for this new facility represents a complete departure from business as usual at universities. This is only possible because each of the departments in the College of Arts and Sciences is embracing the idea that all university research will benefit from bringing new, state-of-the-art instrumentation into a shared facility designed for optimum performance."
Completion of the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories is anticipated by the end of 2007, with total project cost estimated at $16 million for complete build-out of the available space. Funding includes $9.5 million in bonds and lottery funds approved by the Oregon Legislature and issued in 2005, with the balance to be raised from private gifts and industry partners. Of Lokey's $10 million gift, $3 million will go toward the Lokey Laboratories building and the balance toward the Phase 2 building.
The second phase of the Integrative Science Complex will be a new building that Frohnmayer said is urgently needed for the university to continue as a leader in brain research, which already is producing valuable applications related to learning and behavior.
"This facility will expand the university's opportunities for biomedical research promoting diagnostic and clinical applications," he added.
The multi-story building, targeted for completion by 2012, will be located northwest of Oregon Hall along Franklin Boulevard and will connect directly to the Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories, adding up to 100,000 square feet to the university's existing science complex. The Oregon University System will consider seeking authorization for Phase 2 during the 2007 legislative session.
"Although the University of Oregon's research funding has grown by about 50 percent over just the past five years, the amount of total space assigned to training and research activities in the sciences has remained relatively unchanged since 1990," Frohnmayer said. "We need to provide top-quality research space in order to attract and keep top scientists, who in turn provide the best education possible for our students."
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