This aerial photograph shows the progress underway at the future McMillian Park.
Alpha Foundation provides $1.6 million gift to nurture research and economy
Huntsville, Ala — With a growing roster of non-profit researchers and new tenant businesses at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Lonnie McMillian, president of the Alpha Foundation, has stepped forward to ensure ongoing momentum in the development of Huntsville’s biotech sector. McMillian, who is also co-chairman of the HudsonAlpha Institute board of directors, has committed $1.6 million toward developing the green space that runs the entire length of the nearly mile-long Cummings Research Park Biotech Campus.
“Between prospects, the launch of new companies and the rapid growth of one of the HudsonAlpha tenants, it has become apparent that new construction on the campus is imminent,” said McMillian.
The gift from the Alpha Foundation will develop the area termed “the grove” and create the means to attract new researchers and businesses while sustaining current institute tenants.
The grove incorporates the campus’s primary pedestrian pathway. Located between two front-facing, parallel rows of buildings, the grove moves the collaborative spirit of the HudsonAlpha Institute from a singular built environment to the natural environment.
“The campus is a long, narrow property that runs north and south between Moquin Drive and Explorer Boulevard in CRP,” said Tim Packard, chief architect for the project. Parking will be located in the far eastern and far western zones. “Moving inward from the east and west, the two parallel rows of buildings will occupy the second zone,” said Packard. “The grove is in the last zone, creating the heart of the campus where both sides come together.” Fuqua & Partners Architects of Huntsville created the campus master plan.
“The grove has been thoughtfully designed to complement HudsonAlpha’s collaborative model,” said McMillian. As an example, he explained that the maximum distance between buildings should be no more than 150 feet from one side of the grove to the other. “At those distances,” he added, “individuals can recognize a colleague who might enter the grove from the opposite side and then engage in conversation.”
The $1.6 million gift from the Alpha Foundation is part of the philanthropic organization’s ongoing support of the HudsonAlpha Institute and Huntsville’s high tech economy.
Holly Ralston McClain
The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, is the cornerstone of the Cummings Research Park Biotechnology Campus. The campus hosts a synergistic cluster of life sciences talent – science, education and business professionals – that promises collaborative innovation to turn knowledge and ideas into commercial products and services for improving human health and strengthening Alabama’s progressively diverse economy. The non-profit institute is housed in a state-of-the-art, 270,000 square-ft. facility strategically located in the nation’s second largest research park. HudsonAlpha has a three-fold mission of genomic research, economic development and educational outreach.