Proposals for the construction of two new science buildings were submitted to New Haven’s City Plan Department Friday, the first step in a city review that Yale officials said they expect to proceed smoothly.
The plans to construct an approximately 195,000-square-foot building for the Biology Department on Whitney Avenue and an approximately 52,000-square-foot building for the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on Prospect Street are part of an ongoing push to improve the quality of Yale’s science departments. But the proposal submissions mark the beginning of a new development phase, as the review process involves city oversight, Associate Vice President of New Haven and State Affairs Michael Morand said.
Morand said that since both properties are owned by Yale and only “minor” adjustments need to made to the zoning specifications, both projects are slated to begin construction this summer, and both buildings are expected to be ready for use by fall 2007. The two sites will be a boon for both students and city residents, he said.
“It will generate millions of dollars of building permits in the short term and ongoing millions for the city budget through PILOT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) payments,” Morand said. “Most importantly, these buildings will further strengthen the research foundation necessary for New Haven’s bioscience industry to grow.”
Ward 22 Alderman Drew King, whose ward includes both sites, declined to comment on the construction, saying he would not meet with officials or community members until later in the week.
The new biology building — which will replace a surface parking lot and other University-owned properties on Whitney Avenue — will consolidate teaching and research facilities. The construction of the new building will also allow Kline Biology Tower and Osborne Memorial Laboratory, which currently house the biology facilities, to be retrofitted to accommodate physics and math classes, Morand said.
The new Forestry and Environmental Studies building will replace the decommissioned Pierson-Sage Power Plant on Prospect Street. In addition to consolidating teaching and research facilities, the new building will be more environmentally friendly than the plant, Senior Mechanical Engineer for Construction and Renovation David Spalding said.
“It’s going to be highly energy-efficient,” he said. “It will make use of sustainable materials — wood, masonry, things that can be reused.”
Morand said a underground service entrance and an off-street unloading area for New Haven public school buses are expected to decrease traffic on Prospect Street and surrounding areas.