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August 5, 2016

Jackson Lab groundbreaking heralds expanded space, more jobs

Courtesy / Jackson Laboratory
Courtesy / Jackson Laboratory
A rendering of Jackson Lab's mouse vivarium in Ellsworth.

Officials from the Bar Harbor-based Jackson Laboratory were joined by U.S. Sens. Angus King, Susan Collins and other state and local officials earlier in the week to celebrate the kickoff of the retrofitting and expansion of an Ellsworth building that once housed a Lowe's Home Improvement retail store.

Charles Hewett, the lab's executive vice president and chief operating officer, told the Bangor Daily News the $75 million project will wrap up before the end of 2017. It will convert the former big-box location into a mouse vivarium for breeding research mice that will be sold to biomedical labs across the globe.

The project will see the current footprint of the 140,000-square-foot building expand an additional 68,000 square feet on the first floor's interior. Hewett told the BDN that a second floor will also be added to the building's expanded eastern fašade, where lab offices and climate-control equipment will be housed.

Jackson Lab officials told the BDN the Ellsworth site will employ 100 when operations at the vivarium begin on Jan. 1, 2018. When operations at the lab kick into high gear, 230 employees will be working at the facility, three-quarters of whom will be new hires.

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