Costly repairs to the chemistry lab in Henderson – Oracle Online
It was two years ago this month, when Professors Terry David Bateman and Bradley Rowland allegedly spilled benzyl chloride in the process of making methamphetamine in a lab on the third floor of the Donald W. Reynolds Science Center in Henderson. State. What would follow was a national news circus that set up HSU for countless obvious pleasant references to the 2008-2013 television drama series “Breaking Bad.”
As of this writing, dust has literally settled in the lab space of Room 304, now cleaned of toxic chemicals and used as a storage room for old furniture. Where a hood used to be, there is a black garbage bag, which inflates whenever the air conditioner starts.
Ingo Schranz, a professor in the chemistry department whose office is right next to the now emptied room 304, told The Oracle that if the department is able to cope without for the time being, the emptying of that lab and another room nearby put considerable pressure on himself and his colleagues.
âIn my opinion, this is a temporary fix,â Schranz said on Friday. âWhat we miss the most is a store manager and a hygiene manager. Preparing reagents, setting up weekly labs, cleaning lab spaces in addition to researching and ordering chemicals take up a lot of time that we could spend working with students.
A story by Debra Hale-Shelton and Benjamin Hardy for the Arkansas Non-Profit News Network published in the Magnolia Reporter claims the cost to clean and repair the part in its current condition was $ 149,917. Today, a university hampered by financial difficulties and experiencing record enrollment numbers amid a global pandemic and legal controversy faces the possibility that these labs will never be used again due to the high cost. of their restoration.
âI wish we could fix this problem without a chemical spill,â Schranz said.
Had evidence of dangerous drug synthesis been discovered in previous research earlier in 2019, before the actual toxic material spill, the labs could still be used today. Bateman will be tried later this month.
Dr Martin Campbell, chair of the chemistry department, was contacted and declined to comment.