July 26, 2011 5:45 AM
R. M. Morris
When it debuts next year, the new $7.4 million Donna and Paul Flower Hall for Research and Innovation will be a catalyst for Tulane’s emergence as a science and engineering powerhouse, attracting scholars, expanding research and satisfying the region’s demand for innovative problem-solvers, says Nick Altiero, dean of the School of Science and Engineering.
Construction on Flower Hall will begin in August to replace Taylor Laboratory on the uptown campus. The outdated facility, built in 1949, has become unsuitable for contemporary research.
Designs for the four-story Flower Hall will bridge the gap between existing facilities and better integrate the scientific community on campus, creating a science and engineering hub that boosts collaboration between faculty and students. The 24,000-square-foot building includes labs with open spaces that facilitate the exchange of ideas, with study rooms, offices and sunlit gathering areas on each floor.
Flower Hall will drive scientific progress at Tulane, says benefactor Paul Flower, who received a master’s degree in engineering from Tulane in 1975. He sees the building as complementing Tulane’s mission of attracting superior scholars who are engaged in pioneering research and serving the regional community. The new facility also will help bring more sponsored research dollars to Louisiana and re-establish the population of Tulane-educated scientists and engineers in the area.
“It could not only help the school out, but also be a benefit to the economy of the city,” says Flower, whose firm Woodward Design+Build has committed to designing, building and funding much of the project. Other major gifts from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the estate of the late Dr. Irwin Frankel (a 1942 engineering alumnus) and other donors helped fast-track the project.
“We’re building a research environment in which the outstanding faculty members and students we’re attracting to Tulane can thrive,” says Altiero.
R. M. Morris is a writer in the Office of Development.
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