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DULUTH, MN-The $33 million James I. Swenson Science Building is nearing completion on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus.

The 110,000 sf building will include computer and wet labs, offices and study spaces. It will replace a chemistry building built in 1948 and the Life Science Building built in 1968.

The building is named for Jim Swenson, a 1959 UMD chemistry graduate. Jim and Susan Swenson, through the Swenson Family Foundation, made a gift of $7.5 million to help fund the new building, providing impetus to local legislative leaders who led the way to secure the $25.5 million in state funding.

The science building is slated for completion in January 2005, marking the 4th new building in five years constructed on the UMD campus. Located on Kirby Drive (just off College Street) the three-level structure will house the departments of chemistry and biology. The building layout has a research wing and a teaching wing.

The new science building is one of six construction projects totaling $95.7 million that the university has undertaken in recent years. In 2001, UMD opened a new $26 million library and a $2.2 million grounds and vehicle fleet building. Last year, it opened the $9.2 million Weber Music Hall and $7.6 million addition to the Griggs residence hall. And a $17.7 million renovation and addition of Kirby Plaza is scheduled for completion in December.

M. A. Mortenson Co. of Minneapolis is the general contractor, and Dan Pennington of that firm is the project manager. The architects on the project are Carol Ross Barney of Ross Barney & Jankowski in Chicago and Ken Johnson of Stanius Johnson in Duluth.

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