EEEC opens doors for dedication, public celebration

Posted on Apr 27, 2018 in Campus News and News

Public celebration for Earth, Energy and Environment Center at KU

As the Earth, Energy and Environment Center wraps up its first semester, Slawson and Ritchie halls are welcoming the public to see KU’s newest school buildings.

Slawson Hall hosted a formal dedication ceremony for the two buildings on April 25, where Chancellor Girod shared remarks. Other speakers included with Robert Goldstein, provost’s special adviser for campus development; Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment, and Bryan Rodriguez-Colon, a graduate student in geology.

“The University of Kansas aspires to make discoveries that change the world — and the Earth, Energy & Environment Center positions KU researchers to do exactly that in areas related to energy, natural resources and the environment,” Girod said. “Thanks to these new facilities, the university will continue to be at the forefront of efforts to address challenges and create opportunities that shape our society for years to come.”

Mosasaur and sea turtle installation at the Earth, Energy & Environment building at the University of Kansas. | Public celebration for Earth, Energy and Environment Center at KU

Public celebration

Members of the Lawrence community are invited to come see the building themselves at an opening celebration from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.  Saturday, May 5. The event is free and includes activities for children and adults:

  • A rock pile where children can search for stones and fossils to keep, with geologists on hand to identify them
  • An augmented reality sandbox for participants to create models of geologic events and features like floods, landslides and lakes
  • Demonstrations of the new state-of-the-art lab equpiment
  • An exhibit of core samples, a cola-fueled volcano, showings of “Jurassic Park” and more

Maps will be available for self-guided tours. Guided tours will also take place to show the inner workings of the facility.

-Ryan Camenzind

If you can’t make the open house, check out the tour we took with Robert Goldstein when the EEEC first opened, and a video on the 45-foot mosasaur that hangs in the atrium.

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Old bones raised in new KU building

Posted on Dec 1, 2017 in Campus News and News

Mosasaur and sea turtle installation at the Earth, Energy & Environment building at the University of Kansas.

The new Earth, Energy & Environment Center will include some old bones.

Triebold Paleontology recently cast and installed a replica of a mosasaur fossil known as Tylosaurus proriger. C.D. Bunker, curator at KU’s Natural History Museum, and his associates collected the fossil in Wallace County in 1911.

An intimidating predator, the mosasaur will take your breath away. The size and length are imposing enough. But its teeth seal the deal—or in this case, the fate of an 84-million-year-old sea turtle the Tylosaurus is chasing in the display

“This is the Earth Energy and Environment Center; it’s all about the earth sciences,” said Bob Goldstein, Haas Distinguished professor of geology and special advisor for campus development in the provost’s office. “What better specimen to bring the public in than a spectacular 45-foot-long sea monster from the cretaceous of Kansas.”

Ancient fossils and KU connections

Sea turtles were likely prey for mosasaurs, and this particular fossil shows nearly 100 bite marks from a mosasaur similar in size to Tylosaurus proriger. Anthony Maltese, c’04, was part of the team that collected the sea turtle fossil south of Quinter in October, 2011.

Bunker’s original Tylosaurus specimen resides at the KU Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall. It is believed to be the largest complete mosasaur fossil in existence.

About the Earth, Energy & Environment Center

The Earth, Energy & Environment Center (EEEC) sits next to Lindley Hall and will open for classes in spring 2018. The two buildings of the EEEC—Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall— will feature bridges to Lindley Hall and Learned Hall.

The multidisciplinary center is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. It will bring together faculty, students and researchers from geology and engineering to tackle energy and environmental research.

—Dan Storey

Watch the slideshow below to see more pictures of the installation, or view the photos on Flickr. Read more about the installation from the Lawrence Journal-World.

Earth, Energy & Environment Center Mosasaur installation

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Hold on a Minute … Where’d that Building Go?

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 in Campus News and News

One of Mount Oread’s rarest transformations has suddenly brightened Jayhawk Boulevard: the creation of open green space.

In August, the University razed the century-old eyesore that for more than a decade had been used only for storage, ever since University Relations (now Marketing Communications) moved next door into the red-brick Wesley Building, the former home of Hilltop Child Development Center. The newly freed lot between the Wesley Building and Grace Pearson Scholarship Hall has since been terraced and seeded with grass, creating an inviting open area between Louisiana Street and Jayhawk Boulevard.

“It contributes to the landscape of the University, the way it’s set right now,” says Jim Modig, director of the Office of Design & Construction Management. “We probably need to do a little more landscaping in there, but we’ll let that kind of evolve over time.”

Exactly how long it will remain open space remains to be seen. The University is currently working on a revised campus master plan (www.dcm.ku.edu/plan-progress), and it’s possible the space might be tagged for development. Modig says one project previously considered for the site was a companion building to Dyche Hall that could house biodiversity programs, exhibits and collection storage. Results of the campus master plan are expected to be announced in January.

“There’s been nothing final about what’s going to go in there in the future,” Modig says. “It may just stay nice green space.”

Also on Modig’s wish list is a cleanup of the unkempt area behind the Wesley Building, which would continue the welcomed improvement of the aesthetics of Mount Oread’s eastern slope.

“But when we’ve got $300 million of deferred maintenance,” Modig says, “we haven’t got a whole lot that we can sink in there.”

The building razed in August was built in 1915 as a teaching lab for students from the School of Education known as Oread High School. Later renamed University High School, it was closed in 1950 and the space refitted for a faculty club. KU Endowment moved in in the late 1960s, until departing for Youngberg Hall on West Campus in 1976. That’s when University Relations moved in, until relocating next door in 2001, when Hilltop Child Development Center moved to its new home on Daisy Hill.

The white, wooden building, which in its crumbling condition gave the appearance of sliding down the Hill, had since been used for storage, and was filled with mold and asbestos.

The only other KU buildings razed in recent years were Lindley Annex, a “temporary” structure moved onto campus in 1947 and used as an architecture outpost until it was finally demolished in 2005, and the old Multicultural Resource Center, a termite-infested wooden structure adjacent to the Military Science Building razed after the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center opened in 2008.

“Those facilities were way past their prime,” Modig says. “They were beyond help.”

The new green space between Jayhawk Boulevard and Louisiana Street has proven so popular for student access to and from campus that Modig thinks a path already worn into the grass will likely be improved with a new sidewalk and steps.

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–Chris Lazzarino

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Remarkable Roost

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 in Campus News and News

It’s time to fly over to Hilltop Child Development Center for their annual birdhouse auction. Most of these nice nests were created by students in Hilltop’s after school program, appropriately located in the Jayhawk Room. Bids can be placed in person or over the phone by calling (785) 864-4940 starting December 10. Bidding ends at 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, December 13, and money raised will go to the Hilltop Families in Need Holiday Fund and the American Red Cross. Pics of all the birdhouses can be viewed on Hilltop’s Facebook page at: facebook.com/hilltopcdc.

The birdhouse above, created by Hilltop teacher Mike Pisani, features Lippencott Hall on Jayhawk Blvd., named for KU’s fourth Chancellor. Originally built in 1905, students at the time asked that the building be named Green Hall to honor James Woods Green, then Dean of the School of Law and perhaps better known as “Uncle Jimmy Green.” In 1978, it was renamed Lippencott Hall. It now houses KU’s Office of Study Abroad, the Applied English Center and the Wilcox museum of classical antiquities. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. (Photo courtesy Machaela Whelan, Hilltop CDC)

– Posted by David Johnston

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