Construction will continue into 2020 but the University of Delaware has already put its stamp on the future economy of Delaware in the slabs of concrete and steel beams along South College Avenue.
Governor John Carney wrapped up a three-stop college tour with a showing of the work that's been done on the upcoming bio-pharmaceutical building on the University of Delaware's Star Campus.
"This is the future," said Carney. "Our success, as a state, is going to rely heavily on a quality science and technology-based workforce and that's what this campus is all about."
He toured the four levels of the construction site that is still roughly a year away from completion, but liked the work that he's seen from the open space that was occupying the land before the renovations began.
"I'm very impressed by this building and the other facilities along with the Chemours facility right next door," he added. "Half of a billion dollars over the last couple of months--that's really important, and the work being done in this building--half Delaware workers is great."
The building may be coming together, but students like third-year Ph.D. student Margot Farham are looking forward to the finished product.
"I'm in the biomedical engineering department and right now, we are spread out all over campus. We have some offices in the tech park, some in the tech park and others over here at Star," said Farham. "For us, this building is going to be a big hub. A lot of our labs use the bio-imaging core, which is over at DBI, so having DBI here will also be very beneficial for us. Everything will be in one place--we'll have all of our microscopes and our equipment all together. I think it will foster more collaborations for future research."
It's students like Farham that Carney believes are the direction that the First State's economy needs to head in order to be a success and grow out of the status of being an estock state.
"In the long term, for the future of our state, in terms of the workforce and technology--I really believe that there's a future for advanced biopharmaceutical manufacturing," he said while citing the NIMBLE grant that will allow more work in that field. "It's just really exciting to see this. This used to be an automobile manufacturing facility, which in some ways represents the past, in terms of the economy of Delaware and this is the future."