The California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo has unveiled plans for the construction of the Western Coatings Technology Center and the launch of a $5 million fundraising campaign for the project.

The technology center is slated to be part of the university's new, $134 million Center for Science and Mathematics. Construction of the coatings technology center is expected to begin in 2006, with completion in 2008.

Ken Edwards, CEO of Los Angeles-based Dunn-Edwards Corp., has donated a "lead gift" of $250,000 to the fund-raising campaign for the coatings technology center. Edwards, the campaign's chairman, said the new center "will combine education with expanded opportunities for research conducted by students and faculty members and for hands-on training, so students will be specialists in coatings science." Plans for the technology center include a polymer synthesis center, project research laboratories, offices and meeting facilities.

Ray Fernando, who was named last year to the Arthur C. Edwards Endowed Chair for Coatings Technology and Ecology, said his goal is "to make Cal Poly's polymers and coatings program grow into a world-class program."

Cal Poly's Polymers and Coatings Science Program was created in the late 1980s as a partnership between industry and the university's Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. The university offers an undergraduate degree program with a concentration in polymers and coatings science and a new "industry-focused" master's degree program. The program also offers educational, research and training opportunities for students and industry professionals.