WSU photo by Shelly Hanks Dignitaries breaking ground for WSU’s new Plant Sciences Building in Prosser, Washington, on June 27.

Dignitaries breaking ground for WSU’s new Plant Sciences Building in Pullman, Washington, on June 27. (WSU photo by Shelly Hanks)

Aiming to be recognized as one of the top 25 public research universities by 2030, Washington State University broke ground on June 27 for its Plant Sciences Building, a state-of-the-art research facility, according to a press release.

“It’s a great time to build and move forward,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz, who also stated the 2030 goal for the university in the release. “I look forward to seeing the exciting work that we continue to do to support Washington agriculture and keep us regionally and globally competitive so that our farmers and ranchers have the tools they need to be successful.”

Approved by the state legislature earlier this year at a cost of $52 million, the four-story, 95,000-square-foot Plant Sciences Building will provide a research venue for plant biochemistry, plant pathology, horticulture and crop and soil sciences — programs currently located in two buildings constructed in 1959 and 1971. It is the fourth of six planned buildings in the V. Lane Rawlins Research and Education Complex on the Pullman campus.

“This new building is exactly what a land-grant university is all about,” said André Wright, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), in the release. “Our land-grant mission is dedicated to research, extension and outreach that not only tackles the state’s challenges, but moves us into the future. Modern, high-quality facilities are integral to that mission. They help us attract and retain top scientists, provide a space to educate the next generation of researchers and industry professionals — and carry out our ultimate goal — using science to solve the challenges we face as a state, nation and world.”

The people shown in the photo are, from left, Rich Koenig, associate dean of Extension and interim chair of Crop and Soil Sciences, Horticulture; Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison; Jim Moyer, former College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences associate dean of research; Ron Mittelhammer, former CAHNRS dean; WSU Provost Dan Bernardo; André Wright, dean of CAHNRS; WSU President Kirk Schulz; Washington 9th District state Sen. Mark Schoesler; Washington Farm Bureau President Mike LaPlant; 9th District state Rep. Mary Dye; WSU Regent Brett Blankenship; and Bryan Slinker, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Find the news release at WSU News online at