Pencil rendering of the
new Subtropical Horticulture Research Station building in Florida.
Groundbreaking for New Horticultural
Research Facility By
December 16, 2003
MIAMI, Fla., Dec. 16, 2003--The
U.S. Department of Agriculture broke ground
at 10 a.m. today for a new state-of-the-art facility for the Subtropical
Horticulture Research Station (SHRS)
operated here by the Agricultural Research
Service, USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency. The new
building will replace a number of smaller, outdated buildings used by SHRS at
Chapman Field, a former military base. The $6.8 million funding for the new
facility came from the Hurricane Andrew relief fund as a result of extensive
damage done to SHRS by Andrew in 1992.
The new facility, located south of Coral Gables and adjacent to
Deering Bay in Metro Dade County, Fla., is scheduled to open in June 2005. The
station's mission is to conduct and support environmentally sound research on
tropical and subtropical crops. SHRS research activities include collecting,
evaluating and developing improved commercial plants, and developing methods
for managing exotic insect pests.
The new laboratory building will house agronomy, chemistry,
entomology, hydro-physics, molecular genetics and tissue culture laboratories,
as well as a library, conference rooms and general administrative space. The
building will be constructed primarily of reinforced concrete, with both its
structure and roof designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds.
The SHRS site encompasses approximately 197 acres--primarily
fields and test plots dedicated to horticultural research--and more than 40
structures. In addition to construction of the new building, the project will
also include renovations to an existing laboratory building. The new two-story
building will provide 16,383 square feet of space per floor.