Kansas University’s Biodiversity Institute will be getting a nearly $3 million update to its aging and dilapidated facilities.
KU received $1.5 million in federal stimulus dollars from the National Science Foundation and matched it with $1.3 million of its own stimulus money allocated by the state for deferred maintenance needs.
And for Dyche Hall, which houses the institute, the money is sorely needed, said Leonard Krishtalka, director of the Biodiversity Institute.
“We will catapult from 19th century capacity laboratories and research facilities to state-of-the-art, 21st century facilities,” Krishtalka said.
The building — constructed in 1903 — will look the same from the outside, but inside, it will get a new heating and cooling system, plumbing and information technology system.
An old method of storing tissues in electrical freezers will be replaced with a new cryogenic facility that will use nitrogen to preserve tissues needed for research, Krishtalka said.
Under the previous system, an electrical failure had the potential to wipe out 25 or 30 years worth of research.
He said he was happy to have received the funding, and said he was pleased the NSF recognized what KU was able to accomplish already using outdated equipment.
“They fund the organizations that have proven their mettle,” he said.