It began with discussions between former Beckman Institute director Pierre Wiltzius and Associate Director for Operations Mike Smith in the early spring of 2007 about the need for a suitable home for the Biomedical Imaging Center (BIC) and its magnetic resonance imaging magnets. Those talks led eventually to an elaborate plan for a million-dollar moving and renovation project that is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
The Biomedical Imaging Center is coming to the Beckman Institute while the Integrated Systems Laboratory (ISL) is headed to BIC’s original home on the south end of campus. In order to accomplish this swap of two of Beckman’s three primary service facilities, as well as keep research projects going and accommodate new equipment acquisitions, a large amount of detailed planning, cooperation among different groups, and patience were required.
The swap is well under way with one of BIC’s magnets already in place, and two of ISL’s virtual reality environments now ensconced in their new home in the BIC building. Renovation work in the basement is on pace in anticipation of larger construction work starting in January to create spaces for two BIC magnets. In addition, space has been created for new equipment for the Microscopy Suite, one-half of Beckman’s other service facility, the Imaging Technology Group.
The move, how it came about, and the impact it will have on the Beckman facilities and their users are issues that will come to the fore as changes at the Institute take shape in the coming year.