The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded a $45 million grant to NC State to help the university build a new plant sciences building. Along with other contributions, the grant gets the university closer to the $160 million cost of construction.
Dan Gerlach, president of the foundation, says the new building will benefit both the university and the state of North Carolina as a whole.
"The purpose of the grant is not to build a building in Centennial Campus and that to be it," Gerlach said. "The purpose is to build a place that attracts knowledge, talent and skill from all over the world to NC State to help work on North Carolina agricultural problems."
The Golden LEAF Foundation draws its funds from settlement money between cigarette manufacturers and the state of North Carolina, with the goal redistributing it in ways that will bolster the state's rural economy.
And Gerlach points to agriculture as being one of the state's economic strengths.
"The research that will go on in there will able to help North Carolina State recruit the best applied research faculty from around the world," he said, "to help North Carolina agriculture develop new and improved processes and ways of growing things to help feed and clothe the world."
NC State hopes to complete the new facilities by 2021.