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Editorial: Raising the biotech bar

Raising the biotech barSpeaking of buildings, the core lab facility at the N.C. Research Campus may be setting a new standard ó one certainly no school system will be able to mimic.
But the Research Campus itself is sending a wave of realization through area school systems. Change is a-coming.
First, the building. The Charlotte Business Journal recently extolled some of its finer features, but people in Kannapolis and Salisbury have been watching them take shape for months. David Murdock, the driving force behind the $1.5 billion research campus, has not been shy about his insistence on excellence.
The core lab building’s special touches include Carrera marble in the lobby and atrium, and bronze elevator doors. It features fine millwork produced by Salisbury Custom Woodwork and cast stone and pavers installed by Distinctive Naturescapes, also a Salisbury company. This is not a strictly utilitarian space. It communicates the “best of the best” atmosphere Murdock wants for the flagship building.
Now, for the schools: Also striving for the best of the best is a steering committee that the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce has assembled to draw up a workforce development plan in Rowan and Cabarrus. Market Street Services, the consulting firm that helped Kannapolis assess the possible impact of the Research Campus, is meeting with local education and opinion leaders to brainstorm about the jobs of the future and the training workers will need.
Just as Murdock has raised the bar for biotechnology buildings, he has raised expectations for local schools and students. This is transformational change, the likes of which few communities have ever seen.

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