Construction has started on a new state-of-the-art, sustainable Tri-Services Laboratory Building that will house three of New Mexico's leading state laboratories: the Department of Health Scientific Laboratory Division, the Department of Agriculture Veterinary Diagnostic Services and the Office of the Medical Investigator.
The new building will give the three laboratories, which have shared a building since 1974, more than double their current space. In addition, the facility is designed to help the laboratories maintain their accreditation and will house what officials believe is the largest Bio-Safety Laboratory Level 3 autopsy suite in the world.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson worked with the New Mexico Legislature to secure $86 million in funding for the project, which has been in the planning stages since 2000.
Adjacent to the University of New Mexico Health Sciences campus in northeast Albuquerque, the 190,000-square-foot, five-story building is designed to achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, according to Ron Burstein, principal architect of Studio Southwest Architects, which designed the facility.
Burstein said the design and construction team is utilizing value engineering throughout construction to minimize cost increases. Jaynes Corp. is the general contractor for the project. Completion is anticipated in May 2010.