New life sciences building on I-195 land to house Department of Health lab

The Rhode Island Department of Administration shared a rendering of the new state health lab on Richmond Street in Providence.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Gov. Dan McKee said Tuesday that a new life sciences building being built on the former Interstate 195 land in Providence will house a Department of Health laboratory.

The 212,000 square foot, seven-story building will also be home to labs for Brown University and lease other space to local life sciences groups.

“We’re grateful for all the partners who came together to ensure Rhode Island maximizes this significant economic development opportunity while advancing the state’s important public health goals,” the governor said.

Dr. Glen Gallagher, director of Department of Health’s state health laboratories, explained that the new space is much needed, saying, “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for public health laboratories to rapidly scale up testing and apply new technologies like pathogen genomic sequencing.”

He added that the new space will help staff work more efficiently, preparing them to respond to any new infectious disease or chemical public health concerns in years to come.

“With 50,000 square feet of direct usable space, the new lab will offer a larger, more modern and technologically advanced workspace than the current state health lab located on Orms Street,” McKee’s office wrote in a release.

The project is expected to cost a total of $165 million with $81.7 million of it being paid for by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island