Montana State University

Mountains and Minds

A new face for an MSU landmark October 12, 2012 by Sepp Jannota • Published 10/12/12

This fall, Montana State University will re-open Cooley Laboratory following a $15-16 million renovation that will transform the 52-year-old laboratory into a state-of-the-art biomedical research facility for research teams from the departments of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases, and cell biology and neuroscience. Here are a few facts about the renovated building.

The majority of the price tag for the Cooley Laboratory renovation is being covered by a $14.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Cooley Lab was originally constructed in 1960 with approximately 30,000 square feet on five floors. The renovated building will have 45,000 square feet over six floors.

No major work had been done on Cooley Lab during the more than 50 years that MSU's Department of Microbiology had conducted research under its roof. For instance, it lacked the mechanical and electrical building systems needed to support modern science and research and needed close to $7 million in deferred maintenance.

The renovation process included fully gutting and upgrading the building. Improvements include new windows; seismic upgrades to exterior walls, stairwells, floors and beams; a new elevator; new mechanical and electrical systems (with the addition of a mechanical floor under the fully enclosed new pitched roof); new fume hoods and bio-safety cabinets; casework and countertops, as well as modular benches in the labs; an array of special-function labs and support rooms that will include centralized glass washing and sterilization/decontamination, shared equipment labs, tissue/cell culture labs and shared cold rooms; and solar heating collection panel sun-shading devices on the building's south exterior; and making the building meet ADA standards for accessibility.