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School of Earth Sciences plans Oct. 25 groundbreaking

STANFORD -- The School of Earth Sciences celebrated the finale of Stanford's centennial by announcing that construction of its new research building will begin with groundbreaking ceremonies at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the intersection of Panama Street and Samuel Morris Way on campus.

Gifts of $1.7 million received this month completed funding for the structure, according to W. Gary Ernst, dean of earth sciences. It will be the second new building of the Near West Campus redevelopment. The first, the Charles H. Gilbert Biological Sciences building, was dedicated last month.

On the basis of bids received in September, the Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Earth Sciences building will cost $23.4 million. Dinwiddie Construction Co. of San Francisco is the general contractor.

Ernst said Cecil Green, the principal donor, will participate in the groundbreaking ceremony. Ida Green, his wife, who died in December 1986, made a bequest to the School of Earth Sciences. The Greens also were major donors to Stanford's main library.

To make room for the new building, two '50s-era small lab buildings, Salvatori and Noble, will be demolished. The School of Earth Sciences had outgrown these labs by the mid-1980s, Ernst said.

The Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 exacerbated the school's need for space by rendering the Quad's Geology Corner unsafe, so that 52 geology professors and graduate students lost their offices. The university erected temporary structures on the Roble playing fields to accommodate the geologists and currently is considering plans to restore Geology Corner.

Plans for the Green building by Anshen and Allen, San Francisco architects, call for a concourse below grade and three stories above ground in two connected pavilions, with a total of about 78,000 gross square feet. Approximately 55 percent of this space will be utilized as laboratories and technical facilities. The remaining space will include university classrooms as well as Earth Sciences classrooms and offices.

The building will have one 60-person classroom, two 50- person classrooms, three 40-person classrooms and four seminar rooms. The architects used a modular concept to provide flexibility: Modules can be changed easily as the school's needs evolve in future years.

The new structure will provide office, laboratory and classroom space for faculty members and graduate students in the school's four departments. It will accommodate expansion into new fields as well as current research in the following:

Applied Earth Sciences -- aqueous and surface geochemistry, environmental studies.

Geology -- geochemistry of hydrothermal systems, mineral physics, petrology and plate tectonics, metamorphic petrology, igneous petrology and volcanology, high-temperature geochemistry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Geophysics -- reservoir development seismology and surface geochemistry, kinematics of tectonic processes, crustal seismic imaging, tectonophysics.

Petroleum Engineering -- enhanced oil recovery, tracer studies and reservoir engineering, well-test analysis, geothermal reservoir engineering, miscible flooding.


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