New Marine Research Institute Building

UF Whitney Lab Begins Construction of New Research Building and Sea Turtle Hospital with State and Local Support

The new building and sea turtle hospital overlooking the Matanzas estuary will more than double current research. Slated for completion in summer 2025.

Article in Palm Coast Observer

Construction Has Started!

Whitney Laboratory is expanding to a new technologically advanced teaching, research and conservation facility. This new Marine Research Institute Building and the Sea Turtle Research Center and Hospital will bring high-technology to the shores of UF Whitney Laboratory’s valuable environmental location.

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Whitney Hall Demolition

Whitney Hall demolished to make way for the NEW Marine Research Institute Building and Sea Turtle Hospital!


 

Expanding our Facilities to Meet Research and Conservation Demands

  • 38,000+ Gross Square Feet
  • Project Budget: $41.2M
  • Sea Turtle Research Center and Hospital
  • Marine Research and Conservation Discovery Entry
  • Scientific Education Pathway and Outdoor Classroom

Whitney Laboratory selects Lord Aeck Sargent Architects to Design and DPR Construction to build new building

After a competitive bidding process, architecture firms Lord Aeck Sargent (Atlanta)/ TTV Architects (Jacksonville) were hired and we have worked closely with their team on building designs. Construction began in 2023 with our selected construction firm DPR (Jacksonville).

About Lord Aeck Sargent

Lord Aeck Sargent is an award-winning architecture and design firm with a history of creating environments people want to use and preserve. We thrive in the midst of complex projects that require depth of experience and cross-discipline collaboration. Our firm specializes in the programming and design of complex scientific research and teaching environments. We are known for responsive, creative solutions to complex projects—projects engaging an interactive approach between the owner, architect, and engineers. The firm is nationally recognized for its leadership in the design of innovative science facilities. Each design is a specific response to the Client’s unique approach to research and context. Our projects go far beyond the basic technical requirements; we create inspirational and poetic spaces that connect people, nature, and research.

About DPR Construction

DPR Construction builds the higher education facilities of tomorrow, with a focus on safety, sustainability and student experience. The DPR team understands the unique challenges colleges and universities face, and values the shift towards more collaborative, flexible, resilient learning spaces.

Research Laboratories

Research Laboratories

Twelve State-of-the-Art Laboratories Including:
  • Expanded STEM Career Training Capacity (PhD, MS and Undergraduate)
  • Regenerative Medicine and Neuroscience Hub
  • Sensory Biology / Biomechanics Laboratory Hub
  • High Performance Multi Scale Flow Visualization Lab
  • Shared Graduate Student Innovation/Maker Suite
Naming Opportunities

Naming Opportunities

MARINE RESEARCH & CONSERVATION DISCOVERY LOBBY

Educational entryway, impactful displays of current Whitney research, sea turtle education and conservation displays for public education

SENSORY BIOLOGY HUB

Collaborative multidisciplinary research hub for faculty focused on the senses and biomechanics of movement, including advanced optical imaging unit suite and flow tank visualization areas

NEUROSCIENCE/MARINE GENOMICS HUB

Using marine genomics and modern neuroscience research aims, this hub combines expert faculty research labs to study neural pathways and development

NATURAL PRODUCTS CHEMISTRY LABORATORY

Cutting edge identification of new compounds for medicine from terrestrial and marine environments, translational research with linkage to pharmaceutical development

SEA TURTLE CARE EXAMINATION AND OPERATING ROOM

Space for care of sick and injured sea turtles, including examination table, x-ray connection and surgical suite, including online medical charting area, pharmaceutical storage and turtle care supplies

SEA TURTLE TANK ROOM AND DECK 

Sea water tank homes for sea turtle patients with some public access and life support and heating systems to support 6-8 tanks educational interface with patient stories

SEA TURTLE STUDENTS, STAFF & VOLUNTEER CORE

Office space and lockers for students, staff and volunteers helping sea turtles survive, storage for outreach materials and displays

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

Exterior Matanzas basin courtyard for educational gatherings, instruction and research site collaboration

WHITNEY FISH POND 2.0

Reboot of the iconic Whitney fish pond with educational displays and seating

In the News

Plans Move Foward for New Research Building at Whitney Laboratory (Palm Coast Observer Article by Brent Foster)

With the construction of the new building, Whitney Laboratory administrators and staff are responding to the nation’s growing demand to inspire and train STEM investigators, both young and old.

Whitney Laboratory closing in on capital campaign for expansion (St. Augustine Record)

Whitney Lab, Sea Turtle Hospital plan for expansion (Palm Coast Observer)

UF Whitney Marine Lab looking to expand after working in cramped spaces (First Coast News)

Sea Turtle Hospital Preparing for Release, Expansion (Action News Jax)

Your Partnership

Your Partnership

Your support is graciously requested to help us create and build the Marine Research Institute Building. We look forward to ways we can join together to build the training, research and conservation institute of the future.

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Jessica Long
Senior Director of Advancement
(904) 201-8401