The ground-breaking ceremony at the Food Science Plaza featured the grand opening of the recently renovated first floor of the building.
The renovation updated the food processing facilities and research labs. The renovation project was the first phase of this project and the addition to the building is the second phase.
Adds 17,000 Square Feet
The new addition will add 17,000 square feet to the existing building. It's expected to take six months to complete. The project is funded by the Governor's Traditional Industries Program.
"In our outreach efforts, programs are conducted to meet the food industry's training needs," said Joe Frank, acting head of the UGA Food Science and Technology Department. "The expansion will provide suitable, dedicated space to conduct outreach programs for up to 100 people."
For now, outreach programs must compete for space which is mainly used for food science classes in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. A lab designated for outreach programs will be included in the expansion, too.
Lab for Outreach Programs
"The laboratory will allow us to present hands-on demonstrations of processing equipment, monitoring procedures, laboratory instruments and product formulation," Frank said.
Besides adding these new facilities, the expansion will increase the department's teaching, research and office space.
"In many cases, research programs suffer because the existing labs are designed for activities different from those currently taking place," Frank said. "New labs are necessary for our research, which focuses on ensuring a safe, nutritious and affordable food supply."
(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)