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In addition to the research labs on the third and fourth floors, the first floor of the IREB features a host of amenities, including a 94-seat auditorium, a multipurpose classroom, an instructional kitchen classroom, a microscopy room, a walk-in cooler and an additional soil laboratory. The second floor is currently shelled and is ready for future renovations to accommodate additional academic and research programming. In addition to expanding the University’s research and educational capacity, the new building is proving convenient to students wanting firsthand experience in the lab and helping the “STATE family” mantra ring true. “The professors here know who I am and have an expectation for me, which motivates me to do better,” says biology major Katelynn Brown, who began working in Hass’ lab after transferring to WVSU from another university. “Being here is providing me connections to professors and researchers that I wasn’t getting at a larger school.” Tawna Thurston, a student in the University’s biotechnology graduate program who works in Dr. Sanjaya’s lab, agrees. “STATE has a great science program, and you get more hands-on experience. The Tech Park had nice accommodations for us, but I enjoy being here more.”

The IREB labs are being used to conduct research associated with aquatic toxicology, bioenergy, plant genomics and horticulture, and soil science. “Providing new research space to accommodate continuous growth of research and its associated demands is a strategic institutional priority,” said Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Vice President for Research and Public Service. “As the University strengthens efforts to increase and diversify its research portfolio, via the further attainment of externally sponsored and internal funding support, significant research infrastructural improvements, including development of additional research space, are expected to take place.” WVSU acquired the approximately 32,000-square-foot building in 2013, when the West Virginia Department of Administration transferred ownership of the former West Virginia Rehabilitation Center property to the University. The $7 million renovation of the IREB began in 2016 and was paid for entirely with federal and grant funding.

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Profile for West Virginia State University

State Magazine, Volume 7, 2019 Edition  

The 2019 edition of West Virginia State University’s flagship publication features stories on history making accomplishments at the state Ca...

State Magazine, Volume 7, 2019 Edition  

The 2019 edition of West Virginia State University’s flagship publication features stories on history making accomplishments at the state Ca...