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Marine Science Center Takes Shape at Stony Brook Southampton [AERIAL PHOTOS]

State-of-the-art $8.3 million marine sciences center will serve university’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

Construction is well underway on Stony Brook Southampton's new marine science center in Shinnecock Hills for the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, as illustrated by aerial photos captured Tuesday.

The new LEED-certified 15,000-square-foot facility on Old Fort Pond, which connects SoMAS to Shinnecock Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is adjacent to the current research building. The lab is being developed to support the growth of SoMAS' undergraduate marine and environmental science programs, including Semester by the Sea, in which students from all over the world are invited to spend a term living at the Southampton campus and using SoMAS' laboratories and vessels.

According to University President Samuel Stanley, the research center will help SoMAS recruit great faculty member, as well as great students.

A 2,500-square-foot sea water lab will include a computerized circulation system with a titanium heat exchanger to preheat or pre-cool incoming sea water, achieving energy savings while reducing the overall size of the heating and cooling equipment, according to the university. The research center will also include two wet labs, an analytical lab, a classroom, conference room and other lab and support spaces, including an outdoor tank area that will expand the lab resources outside of the building.

At the groundbreaking in June 2012, Christopher Gobler, the director of academic programs for SoMAS, said, "The significantly more sophisticated seawater lab will facilitate next-generation research on both the causes and solutions for pressing marine environmental issues ... I can say with confidence that with this building, SoMAS is poised to offer the best undergraduate marine science degree in the nation."

The university expects the project will be completed by fall. Most of the funding — $6.9 million — was secured in the New York State budget by Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, and Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., I-Sag Harbor. The remainder will be paid for by Stony Brook University.

See aerial photos of the construction in December by clicking here.

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