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The New Choppin Hall Annex

Update – the new Choppin Hall Annex is expected to be in service by September 4, 2012. 

A contract has been awarded for construction of a new 5-story Chemistry and Materials Science Building!  Although technically referred to as an “annex”, it will be a free standing building located directly east of Choppin Hall, between the Life Sciences Annex and the AgCenter's Knapp Hall, facing Highland Road.  The contract includes construction of the first 4 floors.  The top floor will be a “shell” to be completed once additional funding is obtained.


The architectural firm of Lyons & Hudson (New Orleans) has done the primary building design with scientific lab expertise provided by Karlsberger, Inc.  Alumni Professor Bill Daly has been the lead Chemistry person and has worked closely with the architects over the last 7 years.  Alumni Professor George Stanley became involved in the project in 2007.  Bill Daly retired in 2008 but is still very actively involved.


Click on the picture above for a live camera view of the construction. 


Figure 1 shows the architects rendering of the front of the building, as it will appear from Highland Road. Choppin Hall is located directly behind and separated by the service driveway that runs to the Life Sciences buildings. Figure 2 shows the ground layout of the annex and its location relative to Knapp Hall, Choppin, and the Life Sciences Annex.  The footprint of the new building is similar to Choppin Hall.


The exterior will be brick with a Spanish tile roof to match the general university architecture.  There will be large expanses of tinted windows on the 3rd-5th floors where the laboratories are located.  The labs are being designed so natural light will enter both the student desk area and the laboratories proper.


The first floor has been designed to house major instrumentation to support materials science, chemistry, and other science-engineering areas.  Four transmission electron microscope (TEM) instruments will be located in two large labs.  Two of the other main laboratories are multipurpose and can be used for general instrumentation and faculty research.  The final two labs are set for materials research (synthesis and characterization).  The first floor also has a large seminar room, office space, a loading dock, two passenger elevators, a freight elevator, and several smaller instrumentation rooms (one of which will house a 400 MHz shielded NMR).


The second through fifth floors are planned to have essentially the same layout, with laboratories designed for synthetic chemistry and materials science. The second floor plan is shown in Figure 3.The upper floors overhang the first floor and have more space.




There are four faculty/postdoc offices, space for support personnel, a break/coffee room, a large shared instrument room, a smaller instrument room, and a large conference room on the second floor (and higher).  Six large 6-person synthetic labs occupy the center of the building and feature shared student office space in front of each lab.  The four primary synthetic labs have 6 large hoods, one for each student with bench space located across from each hood.  Space is provided for solvent cabinets, solvent purification systems, and two refrigerator/freezers.  Each lab has two large sinks, a safety shower and eyewash.


There are two “open” labs on each floor with space for glove boxes or other similar equipment.  An overhead rack system with snorkel exhausts, N2, air, and power (110 and 220V) is located above each open lab space.  Two hoods, several additional snorkels, and space for refrigerator-freezers, solvent purification systems, or other equipment is also present.


If all goes well, we expect construction to be complete in 2012.  We look forward to welcoming you to the new Choppin Annex building!