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Groundbreaking for new science, technology, and environmental building delayed until next summer

An artist's conception of the new STEPS facility. For larger image, click on picture.

Groundbreaking for the Science, Technology, Environment, Policy & Society (STEPS) building scheduled for this summer has been delayed until next summer.

The new 135,000-square-foot, state-of-the-industry facility will enable collaborative research and teaching of environmental science, engineering and policy, and provide cutting-edge undergraduate science laboratories in life science, chemistry and environmental science. The facility will be the largest undertaking of its kind in Lehigh’s nearly 143-year history.

“The university is fully committed to the STEPS project,” said Joseph Kender, Jr. ’87, vice president for advancement. “As a staff member and, more importantly, an alumnus, I am extraordinarily proud to see Lehigh take this bold step forward. My colleagues and I are excited to take these terrific plans and help turn them into reality.”

The new facility will feature flexible spaces and the latest technology, with research, instructional, and computer laboratories supplementing cutting-edge classroom and office space.

The facility is only part of the initiative. Other major components of the STEPS project include the creation of endowed chairs for faculty engaged in science, technology, environment, policy and society; undergraduate research fellowships to provide opportunities for meaningful research in related fields; and endowed graduate fellowships for pre-doctoral students in related fields, particularly the social sciences.

“As a society, we are at a crossroads, and the more information we have, the better decisions we can make,” says Lehigh President Alice P. Gast. “STEPS will provide optimal resources for faculty and students across the university, which will enable them to work together on solutions for the global challenge of limited energy, water and resources. Investments in the new building, in endowed chairs, and in graduate and undergraduate research, will provide long-term dividends in greater quality of life, enhanced human health, sounder national and international policies.”

--Tom Durso

Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008

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