CORVALLIS - The 65th annual Fernhopper Day celebration will be held Saturday, April 26, in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.

The event will coincide with a groundbreaking ceremony for the new $24 million Forestry and Forest Products Manufacturing Research Laboratory. Most activities in this annual gathering of College of Forestry faculty, friends and alumni, will take place following the groundbreaking ceremonies.

A presentation about the new laboratory facility will be made at 1 p.m.; campus tour and poster session will be from 2-4 p.m.; and reception and dinner at LaSells Stewart Center beginning at 4:30 p.m.

For more information on activities, registration, lunch and dinner arrangements associated with Fernhopper Day, contact Lauri Brendle at telephone (541) 737-2034.

The new laboratory is a 97,000-square-foot research and educational facility that will help replace outdated equipment and cramped laboratories in the existing Forest Research Laboratory, officials say.

Construction will begin this summer and be completed by late 1998.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at a site southwest of the Peavy Hall parking lot on the OSU campus, near the intersection of 30th and Jefferson Street. It is free and the public is welcome.

"Forestry has become a very complicated, research intensive enterprise," said George Brown, dean of the College of Forestry. "The new laboratory will allow us to do the sophisticated, 21st century research we need."

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Laurie Brendle, 541-737-2034