Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) renovated its Stocking Hall, the long-time home of the Department of Food Science of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, US. The existing Stocking Hall was built in 1923. The project expanded and modernised the facility.

The Stocking Hall project is part of the State University of New York Capital Plan to provide a new facility for the CALS Department of Food Science.

The refurbishment was required to maintain its quality of services and stature as one of the world’s leading academic food science programmes.

The renovation was started in September 2010 with ground-breaking in May 2011. The first phase comprising the construction of a new building on the east section of the Stocking Hall was completed in July 2013, while the second phase includes the complete renovation of the old four-storey structure was completed in May 2015.

The renovation was completed at a cost of $105m and funded by the State University of New York Construction Fund.

Project background

"The new research tower is a four-storey building with a glass façade. It houses the Cornell Dairy Plant and Dairy Bar facilities."

Stocking Hall plays a crucial role in maintaining competitiveness of the agricultural and food industries in New York. It offers research facilities for studies on the quality of wine and dairy products.

The project was constructed in two phases. In the first phase, a new building has been constructed on the existing building, which was demolished. It has state-of-the-art research labs and faculty offices in two floors, as well as a 10,000ft² pilot plant that helps with teaching and research, and is also available for external clients.

The new laboratories enable researchers to study food safety, biomaterial and food processing and their association with human health. It contributes to the development of small and family-operated businesses.

The project also improves the training provided by CALS to the inspectors of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and state-authorised milk inspectors.

It also allows faculty members to be more competitive for funding from the state and federal agencies and private companies.


The project involved construction of a new 90,000ft² Research Tower, a 19,000ft² dairy products production facility, refurbishment of the existing 44,000ft² Stocking Tower and renovation of the 14,000ft² food science laboratory (FSL) building. The FSL supports research and pilot operations, while the old building accommodates tasting and teaching laboratories, classrooms and offices.

"Stocking Hall plays a crucial role in maintaining competitiveness of the agricultural and food industries in New York."

The project completely retrofitted the Stocking Hall with modern life safety systems with disabled accessibility throughout the complex. It also provides networked communal areas and modern classrooms.

The new research tower is a four-storey building with glass façade. It includes a dairy processing plant, a conference centre, a 120-seat auditorium and Dairy Bar. A new crush pad has been added for teaching winery, viticulture and oenology studies.

An observatory balcony above the dairy plant displays milk processing from pasteurisation, pudding, yogurt and ice cream production to final packaging of the products.

The renovated four-storey building, renamed as Stocking West, includes food chemistry and microbiology teaching lab, a sensory evaluation centre, two new classrooms, offices and a wine cellar.

Cornell Dairy facilities / new technology

The Cornell Dairy processes approximately 1.5 million pounds of raw milk a year to produce 140,000gal of milk, 4,000gal of pudding and yogurt, as well as 20,000gal of ice cream. They are mainly distributed through the university’s dining locations.

The Cornell Dairy Teaching and Research Center in Harford supplies the milk.

All the pasteurisation equipment, freezers and processing tanks installed at the dairy plant in the 1960s have been replaced with the latest computer-controlled machinery.

It enables web-based data transmission for direct access by researchers, students and staff. The new Cornell Dairy Bar, opened in July 2013, has increased seating capacity and serves new products.


Mitchell Giurgola Architects designed the facility. The Pike Company is the general contractor. Brad Newhouse is the project manager. M/E Engineering is the electrical, HVAC, plumbing and fire protection consultant.