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Ryan Piurek
University Communications

Jocelyn Bowie
College of Arts and Sciences

Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2009

President McRobbie, Biocrossroads CEO Johnson and others dedicate Multidisciplinary Science Building II

Oct. 23, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University dignitaries dedicated Multidisciplinary Science Building Phase II, the Bloomington campus's newest science building, in a special ceremony on Thursday. The dedication was part of October's month-long Celebrate IU initiative.

MSB II Dedication

Photo by Aaron Bernstein

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie holds aloft a symbolic key to Multidisciplinary Science Building Phase II, IU Bloomington's newest center for scientific research.

Print-Quality Photo

IU President Michael A. McRobbie led a platform party that included members of the IU Board of Trustees, Provost Karen Hanson, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bennett Bertenthal, School of Public and Environmental Affairs Dean John Graham, and Provost's Professor of Geological Sciences Lisa Pratt, who has also been chair of the MSB II Design and Oversight Committees.

David Johnson, president and CEO of BioCrossroads, was the event's keynote speaker.

MSB II, as the new building is also called, is on Walnut Grove Street just north of the Psychology Building. MSB II provides about 65,000 square feet of laboratory space for neuroscientists, biogeochemists, environmental scientists, and other researchers whose work crosses the boundaries of traditional scientific fields. The space will be shared, with about three-quarters of the labs being assigned to faculty and researchers in College of Arts and Sciences departments, and one-quarter of the space being assigned to the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. MSB II, as the name may imply, is the second such structure. The first, Simon Hall née MSB I, opened its doors in 2007.

"Like the award-winning Simon Hall, this new building has been designed from the ground up to foster collaborative interdisciplinary scientific research," President McRobbie said. "The mere fact that the building unites researchers who were once spread out across campus -- in Simon Hall, the Geology Building, the Student Building, the Psychology Building, and SPEA, to name a few -- will create a sense of synergy and connection. With architecture that has become a trademark of IU Bloomington, MSB II will be home to 21st century science."

MSB II Dedication

Photo by Aaron Bernstein

Provost's Professor of Geological Sciences Lisa Pratt chaired the committees of scientists whose primary task was to ensure MSB II would adequately support their complex work. At the dedication, Pratt praised the building's technical and aesthetic qualities.

Print-Quality Photo

In addition to offices and laboratories, MSB II will also be home to an instrumentation facility supported through the Indiana Metabolomics and Cytomics Initiative (METACyt), an environmental scanning electron microscope and microscopy lab, a stable isotope research facility, and the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science.

MSB II was designed by Madison, Wis.-based Flad & Associates, whose architects and engineers also designed MSB I. Wilhelm Construction Co. of Indianapolis was the project's general contractor for the multi-prime project. MSB II's planners and builders collaborated closely with core researchers to create a facility that fosters a community of scientists who are easily able to exchange ideas to advance their areas of inquiry. Open, transparent space invites interaction and collaboration among researchers, students, and staff. It has been designed and built with the aim of attaining Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status, which is highly unusual for a building devoted to scientific research.

The building cost $51 million to build, of which $31 million has come from the state of Indiana through a bonding authority. The Lilly Foundation has contributed a total of $7 million, the Bloomington campus has contributed $2 million, and the College of Arts and Sciences continues to raise funds to cover the remainder.

An image of MSB II's foyer staircase is here:

To speak with Michael McRobbie or Lisa Pratt, please contact Ryan Piurek at 812-855-5393 or To learn more about MSB II, please contact Jocelyn Bowie, College of Arts & Sciences, at 812-855-5265 or