Research Campus Core Lab update
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó Even the bathrooms are covered in marble.
It appears no expense was spared at the Core Laboratory Building at the N.C. Research Campus, which should open this summer.
David H. Murdock traveled to Italy to handpick the white marble that graces the four-story atrium inside the Core Lab Building. He ordered nearly twice as much as he ended up needing, so the extra marble will be used in bathrooms and other buildings, said Steve Lambert, a Visitor’s Center host who gives tours of Murdock’s crown jewel.
The building nears completion as crews grade new roads running through the Research Campus. The much-anticipated centerpiece with the copper dome is almost ready to accept its most famous occupant, a 950-MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.
The one-of-a-kind instrument will arrive from Germany by plane, not boat, campus officials said. Arrival estimates vary from two to four months from now.
Where they aren’t covered with Italian marble, the atrium walls are painted a color that Sherwin-Williams has dubbed “Murdock Yellow,” Lambert said.
The 311,000-square-foot building already has cost Murdock $100 million, and it’s not even furnished yet, Lambert said.
Murdock, who turned 85 Thursday, traveled to High Point last week with Lynne Scott Safrit, president of campus developer Castle & Cooke North Carolina, to pick out furniture.
Murdock will limit automobile traffic on the Research Campus and said eventually the downtown area, most of which he owns, will be “mostly for human use.”He will buy 100 bicycles to place around campus for anyone to use
Lambert said four sample bikes have arrived for Murdock’s approval, and Castle & Cooke is searching for a bike mechanic to keep on staff.
Employees also might use golf carts to get around the 350-acre campus, Lambert said.
A tunnel under Loop Road will make it easier to get from the main campus to related greenhouses and growing fields about a mile away, either on foot or bike.
Murdock, whose office on the top floor of the Core Lab Building offers him a view of the Charlotte skyline on a clear day, last week joked that he would be watching campus-goers.
“I’m going to look over the campus and make sure all of you are exercising,” he said.
Joking aside, Dr. Andrew Conrad, chief scientific officer, called it “one of the most complex buildings ever assembled.”
The building will be owned and operated by the David H. Murdock Research Institute, a public charity created and funded by Murdock.
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