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A giant step for higher education at Cal Poly

Phillip Bailey, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, signs the last girder to be placed in the new building at Cal Poly. Construction officials and the university president also signed.
Phillip Bailey, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, signs the last girder to be placed in the new building at Cal Poly. Construction officials and the university president also signed. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Cal Poly celebrated the placement of the final steel beam on its new science and math building Thursday.

The $132 million, six-story Center for Science and Mathematics is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2013.

Thursday’s event marked the finishing touches on the project’s foundation, framing and support structure.

Every student at Cal Poly will take at least one course or one lab in the center, according to Phil Bailey, dean of the College of Science and Math. About 10 percent of all of the classes taught at the university will be taught at the new facility.

A state general obligation bond is funding most of the project with roughly $19 million from private funds raised by the university and an additional $4 million from a fund for the purchase of new equipment to outfit the center. The facility replaces the northern wing of Cal Poly’s outdated “spider building,” so named because of its shape.

The new structure will contain offices, labs, classes and research space. It will be the second-largest academic building on campus, after the Robert F. Kennedy Library.

The building will also contain two privately funded research spaces: the Western Coatings Technology Center and the Environmental Biotechnology Institute.

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