TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - University of Arizona is proud of its 21st Century research but fighting to get a lot of it done with buildings and equipment from far in the past.
Now money is starting to flow from a new state program to upgrade old buildings.
Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey and UA President Dr. Robert Robbins put on hard hats and used golden sledgehammers to break up an old table and cabinet.
It was a demo demolition to hammer home the new state program to rehab buildings at UA, ASU and NAU.
Some of those buildings are so run down and old, new research and learning is hard to accomplish.
UA Bioscience building 90 is the first into rehab. It looks every bit of its 51 years. Some of its systems need parts so old building managers had to find them on eBay.
Governor Ducey convinced state lawmakers to make a billion dollars available to rehab buildings at Arizona's three state universities.
He says, "We know these universities are incredibly valuable assets to the State of Arizona and if we're going to keep attracting great students and great professors and great leadership we're going to have to invest in these universities and this building needs some investment."
UA's share of the building fund is 400 million dollars. That will build two new research buildings and renovate eight others including Building 90.
Dr. Robbins says, “We're gonna get it refurbished and in the course of about a year and get researchers and students back to discovering new knowledge, translating that new knowledge into new commercializable products that will make the state and the University great."
Renovations will remove old mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems that look and perform like something installed in 1966. But the building structure is sound and strong enough to be the platform for sound science for another fifty years.