Rowan gets $2M for science equipment

By GENE VERNACCHIO, Courier-Post Staff

GLASSBORO--Rowan University received a $2 million grant from NASA on Thursday for the purchase of equipment for its planned $ 42 million science building.

The federal grant was announced jointly late Thursday by Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., and Sen. Robert Torricelli, D- N.J. The grant was included in the VA-HUD Appropriations Conference Report.

"We are absolutely thrilled with this $2 million grant for our science building," Rowan President Dr. Donald Farish said in written remarks. "It makes all the difference in the world in terms of the quality of equipment we are able to put in this facility."

Farish previously has said he expects furnishing and equipping the $42 million facility to cost an extra $9 million.

The three-story, 150,000-square-foot facility will house the biology, chemistry and physics departments. The building will include a fully equipped laser laboratory, as well as state-of-the-art laboratories for the study of materials, biochemistry, mycology, botany, environmental biology and other disciplines.

The roof will support a greenhouse. And a planetarium and rooftop observation deck will be the focal points of the facility. A 16-inch telescope housed in a rooftop dome will feed live celestial images to the planetarium's screen and to an Internet site.

The school broke ground on the facility in December.

Wendy Lathrope, a university spokeswoman, said officials hope to have the building construction completed by fall 2002.

Dr. Jay Harper, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

LoBiondo, who wrote to members on the House Appropriations Committee to urge approval of the money, said the NASA grant will help send Rowan's science program to new heights.

"Making investments like this in Rowan will provide more educational opportunities for students there and more resources for the local academic community," LoBiondo said.

"... This grant will add to Rowan's strong scientific and engineering reputation and set the stage for the next generation of high-tech innovators to learn and grow right here in New Jersey."

Torricelli said he believes Rowan is poised to become home to one of the nation's leading science research laboratories.

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By GENE VERNACCHIO, Courier-Post Staff

GLASSBORO--Rowan University received a $2 million grant from NASA on Thursday for the purchase of equipment for its planned $ 42

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