“Providing a first-rate education in agricultural sciences is part of our mission as the state’s land-grant university—and our faculty and students in agriculture are among the best in the world,” Parsons said. “Unfortunately, some of our teaching and lab space for the College of Agricultural Sciences is showing its age, and we are actively focused on upgrading the spaces necessary to fully support one of the university’s most unique and important academic programs.”

Students who live in the new housing development will pay for it through room and board rates. The project will be built on the site of the Lory Apartments along Laurel Avenue immediately east of the Westfall and Durward Hall towers. Leases at the Lory Apartments, which host graduate students, will end May 31, so Apartment Life has been working with current residents to reassign them to their choice of housing in one of the other three university apartment communities (International House, University Village and Aggie Village).

Construction of the housing facility will take an estimated 24 months.

The total Lory Student Center project is expected to cost $65 million, which includes bond proceeds as well as $5 million in Lory reserves. While designs are still being finalized, the project is expected to renovate 160,000 sq ft and add 40,000 sq ft, which includes updating as many as 19 of the 50-year-old mechanical systems in the building.

The LSC theater renovation is under way and expected to be completed in the summer, providing swing space for programs and events as the LSC renovation progresses.

Construction is expected to take 16 to 18 months and will eventually include temporary relocations of about half of the building, including some student and food services. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2014, when a student-fee increase will be implemented.

About 18,000 people pass through the halls of the Lory Student Center every day.