Demolition underway on Masters Hall: to be replaced by new Life Sciences Complex

Masters Hall Demolition
Masters Hall demolition is currently under way to make room for the new Life Sciences Complex.
Thursday, March 27, 2008

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Out with the old, and in with the new. Masters Hall, the former home of the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Texas, is being demolished to make way for a new building. It will be integrated with the existing Biology Building to form a new Life Sciences Complex.

The new building will be the home of biochemistry, molecular biology, plant science and developmental physiology and genetics. About 11,000 feet of the building will be set aside as space for future research labs to attract new faculty members and researchers to UNT. It will also include a rooftop greenhouse and an atrium space serving as the main entrance for the complex.

"The faculty and graduate students in UNT's Department of Biological Sciences will benefit from the new building because it will allow them to all be housed near each other, rather than spread through three buildings," said Warren Burggren, dean of UNT's College of Arts and Sciences. "This should facilitate the exchange of ideas and foster interdisciplinary work."

Art Goven, chair of UNT's Department of Biological Sciences, said, "The new Life Sciences Complex will allow our faculty to expand their funded research programs in areas such as cardiovascular physiology, genetics and plant science by providing state-of-the-art greenhouse and aquatic facilities, as well as a new open laboratory format for experimental bench work." 

"Additionally, space currently used for research in the Biology Building will be returned to a teaching function, allowing us to better serve our undergraduate students," Goven added.

Parts of Masters Hall -- scrollwork and other ornamentation denoting that it was UNT's biology and chemistry building --  will be used in the construction of the new building, scheduled to open in 2010. The 87,000-square-foot, four-story building is expected to cost $33.2 million.

Masters Hall opened in 1951. The 58,186-square-foot building was named after W.N. Masters, a former head of the chemistry department at what was known as North Texas State College. UNT's Department of Chemistry moved out of Masters Hall in 2004 and into a new Chemistry Building at the northeast corner of Avenue C and West Mulberry Streets.

Internal demolition work began on the site earlier this year; final demolition is expected to be complete by the end of the summer. As part of UNT's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, materials that can be recycled were removed from the building during the internal demolition process. Groundbreaking for the new Life Sciences Complex will follow after demolition is finished. Continuous images of the demolition and construction process can be viewed at: http://www.biol.unt.edu/lscam.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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