The first phase, which was completed in 1995 by Perini Construction of Hagerstown, consists of a 24,000 square foot teaching and research laboratory with three teaching labs, two research labs, a greenhouse-biology lab, two computer labs, nine faculty offices and a classroom.
The second phase, finished this summer by Callas Contractors of Hagerstown, creates an additional 24,500 square feet for multipurpose rooms and more labs for biology, chemistry, earth science and environmental science.
Ideally located in the Eastern Panhandle near the IRS facility, the Coast Guard and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms centers, Shepherd is now better equipped to participate in cooperative arrangements with those high-tech installations, Byrd said.
"Here at Shepherd, we can use these government installations to help train and educate our young people, while we simultaneously produce the talent and skills needed to keep our nation in the forefront of new technologies,'' Byrd said.
Dr. David Dunlop, Shepherd president, credited Byrd for his unwavering support of Shepherd College and his committment to West Virginia students.
"Now we are getting a $3.2 million addition to the Ruth Scarborough Library,'' Dunlop said, noting that Byrd was responsible for that appropriation, too.
Dr. Carl Bell, speaking for the faculty, discussed other solid accomplishments Byrd has made over the years for Shepherd College.
"Before Byrd took an interest, the Eastern Panhandle was somewhat of a vestigial appendage to this state,'' Bell said. "But that has all changed.''
Prior to the dedication, Byrd had lunch with Dunlop and a group of Robert C. Byrd honor students at the president's home.
Byrd, who noted that he will 80 in a few weeks, is serving his seventh term in the U.S. Senate, having first been elected in 1958.