IU President Adam Herbert with Simon family representatives: Cynthia Simon Skjodt (left) and Deborah Simon (right).
From Frankenstein to The Fly, the image of the scientist as a solitary, anti-social individual has a long and illustrious history. But that image vanishes with a glance at plans for the new multidisciplinary science building.
Named after its benefactors, Simon Hall is specially designed to bring scientists of many fields together to address the same problems. And their work holds the promise of fulfilling humanity’s highest hopes: detecting cancer early, eradicating carrier-based disease, and gaining a better understanding of genetic diseases.
As biochemistry professor Ted Widlanski explains, “The plan is not just to populate the new building with people now here, but to use it to recruit the best scientists from around the country.”
“Nothing helps to recruit scientists faster than shiny new lab space,” Widlanski says. “If you’re a great chef and you’re shown a well-equipped kitchen with modern appliances laid out wonderfully, you look at it and think, ‘I can’t wait to get in there and cook.’ You show a scientist a great new lab space with great facilities, and it makes that scientist want to come here and ‘do science.’”
One of the leading philanthropic families in Indiana, the Simon family has previously given naming gifts for two other buildings on the Bloomington campus—the Helene G. Simon Hillel Center and the Bess Meshulam Simon Music Library and Recital Center.
The gift for the current building is from Melvin and Bren Simon, Herbert and Bui Simon, David and Jackie Simon, Deborah Simon, and Cynthia Simon Skjodt and Paul Skjodt. Melvin Simon and Herbert Simon are the co-chairmen and David Simon is the CEO of Simon Property Group, Inc. Cindy Simon Skjodt was recently named a member of the IU Foundation Board of Directors.
Construction of the $55.7 million life sciences building, housed on the Old Crescent just north of Myers Hall, began June 3 with a ceremonial groundbreaking. Completion is set for 2007.
“The College is extraordinarily grateful for the incredible generosity of the Simon family,” said Kumble R. Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Because of their commitment to this project, this new collaborative space will become a cutting-edge facility which will provide the research space we need. Naming the building in their honor could not be more appropriate.”
The building will house the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Measurement, as well as create space for proteomics—the study of human proteins—biochemistry, and the Johnson Center for Science and Entrepreneurship. Two additional science buildings, Multidisciplinary Science Building Phases II and III, are planned for sites just north of 10th Street, near the Geology Building.
See the floor plans and witness the construction of Simon Hall live via webcam.