The board included $5 million in its request for funding next year from the governor to provide equipment for the building. The regents also approved a construction-management firm to oversee the project with funding already in hand.
The board selected Gilbane Building Co. of Atlanta as the most qualified of the 18 firms seeking the contract for the 115,000-square-foot building. It will include research laboratories and a vivarium, which is like an aquarium for growing land-based plants and animals.
Bonds sold by the state will supply $50 million of the construction costs, with an additional $12.5 million coming from private donors.
The $5 million now being requested for equipment will come from a new bond sale if the governor and Legislature approve.