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Jim Melsa, Engineering, (515) 294-5935
Dave Holger, Engineering, (515) 294-1309
Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation (515) 294-4607
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


AMES, Iowa -- The second major piece of Iowa State's vision for the future of engineering is about the take shape. Groundbreaking for phase II of the Engineering Teaching and Research complex will be at 3 p.m., Sept. 8. The event is free and open to the public.

The 100,000 net-square-foot building, when completed, will complement Howe Hall (phase I) and bolster engineering education at Iowa State.

"The ETRC will play a central role in the education of ISU students, in keeping professional engineers current and in sparking excitement among young students in engineering," said Iowa State Engineering Dean Jim Melsa. "Phase II of this project helps us achieve our overall goal of being the best in engineering by tying together all of the various aspects that go into making a great engineer -- the learning, the doing, the collaborations, the team building, the commitment to excellence."

The groundbreaking ceremony also will recognize Gary and Donna Hoover of Rio Verde, Ariz., who donated $3 million to the ISU Foundation for the project. ISU has proposed that the building be called Gary and Donna Hoover Hall, pending approval of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

"The generosity of Gary and Donna Hoover will strengthen Iowa State's stature in engineering education in very exciting ways," said Tom Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of the ISU Foundation. "Their gift will have a dramatic and lasting impact on ISU students, the university and the engineering profession."

The building will be located directly across Bissell Road from Howe Hall on the west side of campus. The building will fill the space between Bissell and the Marston water tower and will be connected by a skywalk to Howe Hall. Construction will be completed in 2003.

The building will feature multi-disciplinary labs, including a fabrication lab where students will be able to build prototypes of their engineering designs; a mechatronics lab, which combines electronics with mechanical engineering; and a team design cluster with a larger room to facilitate the meetings of several design teams. It also will include a 400-seat auditorium and four large classrooms (all for general university use), and will be home to the materials science and engineering department and the Office of Engineering Computing Support Services.

When added to Howe Hall -- which houses the aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics department, the Center for Industrial Research and Service, the Virtual Reality Applications Center and it's C6 facility, high-tech classrooms, a 400-seat VR equipped auditorium, and labs for technology and research -- phase II will provide the space needed to help ISU students learn about their advancing profession and help practicing engineers stay current technologically.

"This building complex will help us fulfill our goals of providing engineers who are ready to contribute to industry on the day of graduation, if not before then," Melsa said. "Companies have told us they need engineering graduates who can take on a wide range of tasks, work in teams and provide well thought-out solutions that consider a wide range of variables. This is what ETRC will help us provide."

ETRC will also facilitate "a lifetime of learning" required by practicing engineers to stay abreast of their fields and it will reach out to young students, especially minorities and women, who are first considering career paths and entice them into engineering fields, added Dave Holger, associate dean of engineering.

The $63.3-million ETRC is the largest capital project in ISU history. The project has been funded by mix of private gifts ($29.9 million), state funding ($31.9 million) and a federal grant ($1.5 million).

The ISU Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to securing and managing gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University.


Iowa State University
... Becoming the Best
Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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