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April 11, 2016

Jackson Lab plots timetable for $125M Ellsworth expansion

Officials from the Bar Harbor-based Jackson Laboratory met with a group of Ellsworth city officials and residents to lay out the biomedical firm’s plans for its ambitious expansion into the city at a former 140,000-square-foot building that once housed a Lowe’s Home Improvement.

The $125 million, 18-month project will see the former big-box location being converted into a mouse vivarium, where lab officials will breed research mice that the company will then sell to biomedical labs across the globe. Details were laid out in a Thursday night meeting.

In addition to housing mice for research, Jackson Lab officials say that more than 100 employees will be working at the facility when it opens, with another 130 employees expected to be added as the expansion kicks into high gear.

John Fitzgerald, Jackson Lab’s senior director of facilities services, told the Bangor Daily News that three-quarters of the work force at the new Ellsworth location will be new hires, with the rest being transferred from Jackson’s facilities in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.

Jackson Lab purchased the building in October 2012 for $3.2 million, a year after Lowe’s closed. Fitzgerald told residents and city officials the lab is expected to generate about $70 million in mouse sales each year.

“We’re going to be in there on Dec. 31, 2017,” Fitzgerald, told the BDN “That’s in 633 days [from now].”

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