University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey officially announced May 2013 as the target date for the office and research building on 300 E. Market St. during a “topping off” ceremony held July 31 in honor of progress in construction.
President Ramsey was accompanied by Mayor Greg Fischer, Metro Councilman David Tandy and Vickie Yates Brown, who revealed a prototype of the green roof to be constructed atop the first new building at Nucleus. Much of the roof space will be comprised of a garden full of plant species native to, and endangered in, Kentucky. Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest has collaborated with Nucleus to design the rooftop garden. The structure will also include panels that will help control energy costs of the building.
“It has been a long time coming,” President Ramsey said of the Nucleus project. “It’s a day of celebration for us at the University of Louisville. We’re celebrating our commitment to this community. … We’re also celebrating our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability. We’re celebrating our commitment to diversity as an institution.”
A subsidiary of the UofL Foundation, Nucleus is a nine-acre research park on and around the former Haymarket property. The first structure of the four-building complex at Nucleus is an eight-story, 197,000-square-foot edifice up for certification through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), verifying its energy efficiency and other environment-friendly features.
“(Nucleus is) a place to take that research from mind to the marketplace,” said Yates Brown, the president and CEO of Nucleus. “(It’s) a place to translate the research, and to get cutting-edge discoveries and cures out to our communities; a place to support the businesses that will develop from the research and those collaborations that they will have within this cluster; A place where new businesses will flourish.”
Nucleus is partly funded by tax-increment financing, in which tax revenue is used for public infrastructure projects. The International Center for Long Term Care Innovation, a project initially funded by Signature HealthCARE and Nucleus, will occupy about 20,000 square feet of the building. University of Louisville researchers and others will use the space to develop and commercialize new products and services for the aging.
Additionally, Nucleus will work on behalf of the University of Louisville to boost economic development. Ramsey announced that 24 percent of contract dollars on the project will go to minority-owned firms, while 15 percent of contract dollars will go to female-owned businesses. Eighty percent of all jobs created for the project have been filled by local citizens.
During the “topping off” ceremony, Mayor Fischer congratulated Ramsey and the University of Louisville on their recent academic and entrepreneurial achievement. He also applauded the Nucleus facility and emphasized the importance of creating and expanding on new ideas in order to help Louisville develop business opportunities and progress in the right direction as a city.
“Cities that make it happen are full of people that say we can do this,” said Mayor Fischer, chairman of the Nucleus Advisory Board. “We can compete with anybody in the world. You’ve heard me say many times, we may not be the biggest city in the world, but we can be the best at whatever we can do. Nucleus is a tremendous example of that.”
For more information on the Nucleus project, visit nucleusky.com.