By Alex Lang
The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN — Walt Helmick, commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and a self-described competitive person, said WVU will hold its own on athletic fields against the Big 12 competition.
But when the schools visit Morgantown in a few years and see the newest agricultural education facility in the conference, they are going to go home with a losing feeling.
“They’ll leave here thinking they got whipped,” he said.
Helmick was one of the featured speakers at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for WVU’s new Agricultural Sciences building. The building has a nearly $100 million price tag, which is more than double the next highest-priced building included in the Evansdale Revitalization Plan.
The building will rise next to the current facility and across from Percival Hall. WVU is still searching for a builder for the facility, which is slated for completion in December 2015.
Dan Robison, dean of the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, said the facility was decades in the making and will serve well the college’s 2,000 students plus faculty and staff.
The building will also help them continue efforts to expand on current work, Robison said. He added that in 40 years, the world is going to need 70 percent more food than it has today.
John Perdue, the state treasurer and chairman of the college’s Visiting Committee, said he has applied the lessons learned as a student in the college all his life. He added the college helps students bond with the outdoors.
The facility will be state of the art, Perdue said…