to Nicholas Johnson's Coralville Rain Forest Web Site
Time to Make a New Hygienic Lab a Reality
Iowa City Press-Citizen
February 5, 2006
[Note: This material is copyright by the Press-Citizen, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of the Iowa City Press-Citizen.]We talk of the need to combat terrorism. We talk of the need to improve our health care system. We talk of the need to foster science-driven economic development. But we designate $50 million in federal money for an indoor rain forest project.
The Iowa state Board of Regents gave the OK to replace the aging lab last fall. Now all that's left is to find the $25 million to $30 million or so that will be needed to build the new lab.
It's time we do that.
This is an issue of putting our money where our mouth is as a state and a nation. We talk of the need to combat terrorism. We talk of the need to improve our health care system. We talk of the need to foster science-driven economic development. But we designate $50 million in federal money for an indoor rain forest project. A new hygienic lab seems more of a priority to us, and we urge state and federal lawmakers to find the money to build it.
We are hopeful that there is a chance we'll see a new lab in the near future. Gov. Tom Vilsack spoke of lab space in his annual Condition of the State Address last month. After his speech, Vilsack said he would ask the Legislature for $10 million for either a new hygienic lab or a new building for UI's College of Public Health. Area lawmakers also are touting the need for a new lab.
The current building, Oakdale Hall, is one of the oldest occupied public health labs in the country. The age of the complex, which includes several buildings, makes it obvious that it wasn't designed with modern laboratory functions and procedures in mind. The new facility would be more usable and more safe and secure for employees, too.
So let's put our money where
our mouth is on this one.