Contact Us:

Advancement and External Relations | 805-756-6235


Give Online

Plant Sciences Complex

Plant Sciences Complex Artist Render







In November 2023, Cal Poly broke ground on the development of a 6-acre Plant Sciences Complex that will feature a new teaching and laboratory building, state-of-the-art research and production greenhouses, an ancillary produce packing and cooling facility and a farm store for food retail operations. The complex will include support for applied innovation and teaching in soil health, water and air quality, plant cultivation, harvesting and processing, and food safety as well as a site for automation and systems testing.

Phase one of this vision is the George Wurzel Plant Sciences Building, with seed funding provided by the JG Boswell Company in recognition of longtime employee and Cal Poly alumnus George Wurzel. This will be the teaching and research hub of the complex, bringing together multiple complementary disciplines under one roof to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. Research labs will be modular, flexible and adaptable spaces – facilitating interdisciplinary discussions and applied learning among faculty, students and industry partners. This building will offer our food and agriculture industry partners with an opportunity to secure dedicated laboratory and equipment spaces that can serve as the new home for our food and agriculture programs at Cal Poly.

A new, state-of-the-art, 60,000 square-foot high-tech greenhouse complex will provide students with hands-on learning and research experience in climate-resilient practices as well as controlled-environment and vertical growing space. Key features include small, medium and large production spaces that can facilitate a multitude of crops, a soil mixing room, germination chamber, headhouse, and multiple research labs.

The farm store will bring together all of Cal Poly’s food and agriculture products at a single, central campus location serving the campus and community to make available for sale fresh, locally-grown and produced food to improve healthy food choices. Students will gain experience in retail supply chain, merchandising, marketing and more – all while showcasing student-made and produced food and beverage products. 

A produce packing and cooling facility is a turn-key ready project that will enable students to cool, wash, sort and store fresh produce, making high-quality, nutrient dense fresh food available to the campus community as well as local schools and food banks. 

The complex will bring together multiple complementary disciplines in one hub to tackle California’s most pressing food and agricultural challenges, including soil health, water and air quality, CEA plant production, harvesting, cooling and packing, food safety, and automation to train the next generation.



Project News:

Taylor Farms pledges $2 Million to Support Cal Poly’s New Plant Sciences Complex



Russ Kabaker

(805) 756-6601


Give Online

Related Content