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WHITE OAK, MD-The US Food and Drug Administration has taken another significant leap in its $286 million consolidation and expansion endeavor with the recent debut of the new Life Sciences Lab at the 130-acre Federal Research Center campus. The 124,000-sf facility, which marks the end of Phase I of the FDA’s multi-faceted development project, cost a total of $43 million to complete.

A six-story concrete building, the Life Sciences Lab houses the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Office of Testing and Research, the Office of Compliance, and a segment of the organization’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health Labs. Approximately 130 employees now call the building home. “This facility will provide a world-class workspace for FDA’s talented group of administrators and laboratory scientists to conduct their vital testing and regulatory activities,” the US General Services Administration’s National Capital regional administrator Donald C. Williams notes.

Phase II of the Federal Research Center, which is already under way, will consist of the $55 million office building for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, a companion to the Phase I development. This portion of the campus is expected to reach completion in December 2004. Upon the estimated 2010 completion date, the sprawling Federal Research Center will consist of approximately 2.1 million sf of office, lab, and support facilities in interconnected buildings for the FDA’s nearly 8,000 employees. The consolidation effort will allow the government organization to bring employees from 38 different leased locations in suburban Maryland under one roof.

The gargantuan development project is not only a benefit for the FDA; it is a boon for the surrounding area, as well. “Just as the National Institutes of Health has served as an anchor for our technology industry in the I-270 Corridor, the FDA’s new home in White Oak will help anchor the expansion of the technology industries in Silver Spring and up the Rte. 29 Corridor,” Montgomery County executive Douglas M. Duncan says.

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