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The U.S. Air Force will accept comments on the proposed construction of the Institute for Advanced Science and Technology until October 1 so that students can give their input, government and University officials said this week. Vice Provost for Research Barry Cooperman said the Air Force, which will may pay for half of the $75.2 million dollar building, agreed to extend the deadline because faculty and students complained that many would not be back on campus to make the original cut-off, September 11. Julia Cantrell, an environmental protection specialist for the Air Force said the government is required by law to conduct an environmental impact study before demolishing Smith Hall to determine what effect the new laboratory will have on the campus. The first step in the study, Cantrell said, is to gather input from students and faculty. "I think [the new deadline] goes a long way toward making up for the meeting being held when no one was on campus," History and Sociology of Science Elizabeth Hunt said, after hearing that the deadline was extended. "I think it will make an enormous difference." Hunt added that by extending the deadline, the Air Force and University demonstrated that they want student input for the study, instead of excluding students and "sneaking behind their backs." The two week extension will not delay the study, Cooperman said. The study aims to gather as many opinions as possible in order to determine what effect the IAST will have on its surroundings, according to Cantrell. A final report is expected in July. Cantrell said that information about the IAST will be made available at campus and local libraries. She sent the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation information last week. She also plans to send information to faculty, student and communtiy leaders, the Mayor, City Council, and members of the historic commision. Cantrell said she is trying to reach "as many people as we could think of who would be interested."

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