Groundbreaking for expansion of public health lab in Shoreline

Friday, April 9, 2010

Public Health Laboratory Director Dr. Romesh Gautom turns the first shovel at the groundbreaking for the lab expansion. To his right: Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky, Shoreline Deputy Mayor Will Hall, King County Council Chair Bob Ferguson, Ridgecrest Neighborhood Boardmember Dick Nicholson.  Photo courtesy Public Health.

A construction project to help the state Public Health Laboratories meet the increasing demands of disease investigation began today in Shoreline with the groundbreaking for the construction of a new wing for the public health lab located next to the Fircrest site on 15th NE.

The project will improve efficiency, ensure safety for staff and the community, and bolster capacity for disease and environmental testing.

At the groundbreaking ceremony today, Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said the project will benefit all state residents. “Whether it’s newborn screening, tracking a foodborne illness, testing for tuberculosis, or monitoring disease outbreaks like the H1N1 flu, our laboratories are on the forefront of infectious disease investigation and environmental testing and monitoring.”

Selecky says the project is on time and within its budget. The groundbreaking starts construction after four years of planning. The addition provides more space for laboratory storage, receiving, and customer service.

Shoreline Deputy Mayor Will Hall says "The Health Lab helps monitor and protect the health of people, water and food across Washington State. It has been a part of our community since 1985, and it is a partner in our city's emergency planning. The Health Lab is also important to our local economy, providing good jobs for 150 people. The expansion that broke ground today will help the Health Lab meet our state's needs now and in the future."

The Public Health Laboratories provide testing for public and private health organizations across the state. Testing is performed by nationally recognized scientists in the areas of communicable disease, shellfish testing, environmental monitoring, and newborn screening. More than five million tests are performed at the facility every year.

The Public Health Laboratories facility, built in 1985, is an important link in the public health system both in the state and the nation.

Information from Public Health



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