The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center announced plans to build a new $45 million addition to its research facility. The new building, slated to open in fall of 2015, will give the Center the capacity to house more than 100 additional researchers. The three-story addition will include flexible research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment as well as core facilities and additional growth chamber space. The Center plans to break ground in early 2014.

“The Center’s expansion project is a major step in our long range plans to increase our impact through plant science,” said Danforth Center President Dr. James Carrington. “The new addition will improve the capacity for high-level science in crop improvement, bioenergy, sustainable agriculture and plant biology. The new facilities will also help attract the best scientific teams as we expand in the years ahead,” said Carrington.

An important event, which prompted the Center’s Board of Trustees to give the new facility project the go-ahead, was the award of $4.5 million in Contribution Tax Credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board (MDFB). The Center partnered with the St. Louis County Economic Council during the application for tax credits.

“The Contribution Tax Credits were critical to raising the remaining funds we needed to move the project forward,” said William H. Danforth, Ph.D., chairman of the board of trustees at the Danforth Plant Science Center. “The St. Louis County Economic Council and the MDFB have been key partners in the establishment and growth of the Danforth Center. Their confidence in our vision and mission has contributed greatly to our success and we are grateful for their support.”

“As Governor, I am very proud that the Danforth Plant Science Center will continue to strengthen Missouri’s role as a leader in plant science and technology for many years to come,” Governor Jay Nixon said. “This expansion will create jobs and spur growth in this region, and generate new technologies to help feed and fuel communities around the world.”

The design of the new research facility is underway through collaboration between two architectural firms, Christner Inc. and Flad Architects. To assist the design team in cost estimating and issues of constructability, McCarthy Construction Company has been selected to provide pre-construction services. Landmark Contract Management Inc. has been serving as project manager.

“St. Louis is leading the way in plant science and an important part of that is the work going on at the Danforth Center,” said Denny Coleman, President and CEO, St. Louis County Economic Council. “In fact, there are now more plant scientists at this corner than anywhere else in the world. The Danforth Center constantly attracts new, world-class talent to the St. Louis region.  This is good news for everyone who lives here as well as all those around the world working to eliminate hunger.”