Freeman building dedicated
The Orville L. Freeman Office Building was dedicated in St. Paul April 21. It houses the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Health, two agencies that have a history of working together on common issues such as foo...
The Orville L. Freeman Office Building was dedicated in St. Paul April 21.
It houses the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Health, two agencies that have a history of working together on common issues such as food-borne illnesses.
The Freeman building, which was completed in the fall of 2005, is the first state building designed specifically for the needs of two state agencies. It features 324,000 square feet of space on five floors.
Immediately next door is the new State Lab Building, which has 176,000 square feet in three stories. This facility contains large open lab areas, biosafety level 3 areas and state-of-the art air handling system that enables workers to safely handle biological, chemical and radiological agents.
In the past, the Agriculture lab was located in St. Paul, and the Health lab was located in Minneapolis. The shared lab has enhanced collaboration and is speeding response time on joint investigations.
The Legislature's approval in 2002 of the $60 million laboratory facility for the two agencies in downtown St. Paul created the opportunity for co-locating the two agencies' administrative offices near the lab.
There is a permanent display outlining Freeman's contributions over many years. He served as Minnesota's 29th governor from 1955 to 1961. He also served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 1961 until 1969 under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
While Secretary of Agriculture, Freeman was instrumental in using U.S. farm surpluses to feed hungry people around the world throughout the Food for Peace program. He also helped launch a series of domestic programs that created the food safety net for millions of Americans.
Freeman died Feb. 20, 2003, at age 84.