The Department of Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular Engineering and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry officially opened the doors to their new home at 151 W. Woodruff Ave. Friday, with the grand opening celebration of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building.
The two-building, 235,000 square foot facility consists of a four-story building of research and lecture spaces connected by bridges to a six-story building designated for additional research and offices.
OSU President Michael Drake spoke during the event about the facility’s capacity to bring together the two departments and the potential to enhance department research collaboration.
“We teach for Ohio, but we do research for the world,” Drake said. “The ideas and the solutions that are developed in this particular building will really be important to us, here, in Central Ohio (and) really all around the world.”
Rep. Joyce Beatty spoke as well, saying that she looks forward to seeing the research and breakthroughs that will come from the more than 400 scientists and engineers working in the new facility.
“I think of CBEC as being the Horseshoe of innovation; a place where students can come, whether they are in chemistry, as chemists, or whether they are chemical engineers,” Beatty said.
Other event speakers included Vice Chancellor for Ohio Board of Regents Gary Cates,chemistry and biochemistry department chair Susan Olesik, chemical and biomolecular engineering interim chair Andre Palmer and donors Bill Lowrie and Gary Booth.
In place of a ribbon cutting ceremony, the celebration ended with a science experiment: Combining hydrogen peroxide, potassium iodide and other chemicals to create “elephant toothpaste.” Drake, Beatty and Brutus Buckeye all helped to create the exothermic reaction that resulted in four foam-like eruptions and a hearty applause from attendees.
CBEC is the Columbus campus’ first laboratory building that is LEED-certified, a building certification of environmental responsibility granted by the Green Building Certification Institute.
The new facility’s construction costs totaled $126 million, with $70 million provided by state funding, according to information provided by OSU.