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Ceremony Marks Opening of $31M Vermont Public Health Laboratory

Burlington, Vt. – On October 22, PC Construction joined the Vermont Department of Health and members of the University of Vermont (UVM) community for a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin marking the completion of the new $31 million state-of-the-art Vermont Department of Health Laboratory.

The new 60,000 square-foot facility, located at the Colchester Business and Technology Park, is almost twice the size of the Health Department’s former laboratory. The former lab, which was built in 1952 and was the oldest in the nation, is being replaced due to its outdated structure and insufficient space.

Advanced features of the new facility built by PC Construction include:

  • Highly specialized Biosafety Level 3 and Animal Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3 and ABSL-3) laboratories
  • High-performance building enclosure, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire suppression systems to conduct specialized laboratory work
  • Deep foundation system consisting of 180 H-piles at depths ranging from 70-90 feet
  • Extensive building information modeling (BIM) coordination to streamline construction and installation for various trades
  • Six flue-gas stacks that reach 75 feet above the ground, which required FAA approval and a non-reflective coating due to their height and proximity to Burlington International Airport

“We are proud to have played a significant role in the construction of this advanced laboratory, which will benefit Vermont and help to keep its citizens healthy for decades to come,” said Matt Cooke, senior project manager at PC Construction.

The new public health facility, which is physically adjoined to UVM’s Colchester research laboratory, was design to promote a collaborative environment between university researchers and public health scientists.

“Moving from the oldest public health lab in the country to the newest – a state-of-the-art facility – is integral and a cornerstone of health for Vermonters,” said Dr. Harry Chen, acting secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services. “Physically and intellectually connecting the lab to UVM helps keep us on the leading edge of science and public health." 

The laboratory will be used to perform a wide range of analyses to detect biological, toxicological, chemical and radiological threats to the health of the population – from testing for rabies, West Nile, pertussis and salmonella to water and food contaminants.

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About PC Construction

PC Construction offers general contracting, construction management and design-build services to private companies and public entities of all sizes. The company manages projects along the East Coast and in the southeastern United States from its headquarters in Vermont and a network of locations in Florida, Georgia, Maine and North Carolina. A construction industry leader for 56 years, PC Construction (formerly Pizzagalli Construction) is guided to success by its more than 900 dedicated employee-owners. Find out more about PC Construction at pcconstruction.com and follow us on Twitter at @_PCConstruction.