PC Construction celebrated a major milestone in its $14.25 million construction project for Jackson Laboratory when it bolted the final piece of structural steel in place Monday for the lab's new Center for Biometric Analysis in Bar Harbor.
A "topping out" ceremony included having Jackson Lab employees and members of the construction team sign the beam before it was placed atop the structure.
"The final steel beam has a shape that matches the existing campus architecture," said Bert Kiesow, project manager for PC Construction, whose Maine operations are based in Portland. "This is an important moment in the project. The beam has been signed by employees of The Jackson Laboratory and members of the construction team and it will now be forever viewable at the roofline of the center's signature stairwell."
The 21,000-square-foot facility represents a significant expansion of research capability for The Jackson Laboratory and is the result of a public-private partnership between the state and the Bar Harbor-based independent nonprofit biomedical research institution. Jackson Lab is funding $11 million of the $21 million total cost of constructing and outfitting the building, with the remaining $10 million provided by Maine voters in a November 2015 bond referendum.
Designed by Harriman Associates, groundbreaking occurred on June 24, 2016, and the project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2017.
The new lab is expected to add 150 to 200 new jobs to Jackson Lab's workforce of about 1,300 people at its Bar Harbor campus. It will be equipped with cutting-edge tools for detecting and measuring extremely subtle signs of disease at the cellular level in specialized mice, using high-powered imaging and analytical devices and animal models.
"This is a continuation of a long tradition at The Jackson Laboratory in which the mouse as a genetic model for human disease has really been at the center of our mission," JAX scientific director Nadia Rosenthal said in a statement issued Monday. "Now we have this wonderful opportunity to do something that nobody else can do, which is to take all these wonderful models and realize their potential in the search for cures and prevention of disease."
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