Type: Education

Size: 10,500 square feet

Cost: $6 million

Architect: Alliiance

Details: The University of Minnesota is putting the final design touches on its new Bee Research Lab, which was approved last month by the Board of Regents and is slated for a June 2016 opening on the St. Paul campus.

The 10,500-square-foot building will go up on a spot along Gortner Avenue south of Larpenteur Avenue on land now used for the U’s research farm fields. It will replace the current bee lab located elsewhere on the campus, which school officials say is in poor condition.

As designed by the Minneapolis-based Alliiance architecture firm, the facility will have a pair of lab spaces, including a practical lab to support field research and a technical lab to advance the state of the biological science on bees at a time when 70 percent of Minnesota’s honeybee population has disappeared due to colony collapse disorder.

With one-third of Minnesota’s natural food supply dependent on bee pollination, the Legislature last year appropriated $4 million of the bee lab’s $6 million total cost to help tackle the problem.

In addition to the labs, the building will house offices for primary investigators, associate researchers and support staff as well as a commercial-grade honey extraction operation. Its outdoor features will include beekeeping apiaries, demonstration pollinator gardens and a 740-square-foot cold storage building.

 

Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be contacted at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.