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Plant Sciences building rendition
Plant science building rendition

6.29.06 LINTILHAC FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTES $1 MILLION FOR UVM PLANT SCIENCE BUILDING


A new plant science building planned as the next major capital construction project at the University of Vermont is a step closer to reality thanks to a $1 million pledge from the Lintilhac Foundation of Shelburne, Vermont.

The building is a top University priority for new academic space to replace outmoded laboratories and classrooms in the Departments of Plant Biology and Plant & Soil Science. Currently on the drawing boards is a $40 million, 83,000-square-foot building to be sited on the eastern edge of campus, north of Main Street. To date, a total of $8 million in state capital appropriations has been earmarked for the project, and the remainder will be funded through bonding and fundraising.

"We are deeply grateful to the Lintilhacs for their support of this essential project," said Rachel K. Johnson, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "I am convinced that a new era of scholarship in plant biology at the University of Vermont is imminent given the caliber of our scientists and the possibilities presented by this new facility."

A new home for Plant Biology and Plant & Soil Science has long been championed by John Bramley, who is retiring as senior vice president and provost at the end of this week to return to his faculty position in the Department of Animal Science. "A new plant science building has been a major goal of mine both as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and as provost," Bramley said. "It is urgently needed to support our teaching and research and to further advance our position as the environmental university. The wonderful generosity of the Lintilhacs in providing this gift will prove a critical step in ensuring a facility worthy of our students and colleagues."

Crea and Philip Lintilhac are both graduates of the University of Vermont, and Philip Lintilhac has been a member of the UVM botany faculty for three decades. "It's important that the University have a strong presence in basic plant science," said Philip Lintilhac. "UVM already has one of the strongest plant biology programs of its size in the country, and we hope this gift will help to create a facility that builds further on that strength."

Tom Vogelmann, chair of the Department of Plant Biology, said the Lintilhac gift comes at a critical time. "This jumpstarts the entire momentum for this project," he said. "The modern classrooms and laboratories in this facility are going to affect everything we do in plant science at this University for decades to come. We're totally thrilled."