A preliminary drawing of the planned new Center for Biometric Analysis building at the Jackson Laboratory's Bar Harbor campus. IMAGE COURTESY OF JACKSON LAB

Biometric center OK’d by planners

BAR HARBOR — Plans for a three-story, 31,000 square-foot addition to the core research complex at The Jackson Laboratory’s campus here took a step forward when the site plan application was approved by the Planning Board last month. The lab has received $10 million in state bond funds approved by voters in 2014 for this project.

The total budget is $21 million, including design, permitting, construction and scientific equipment. The building itself is estimated to cost $11.9 million.

The Center for Biometric Analysis (CBA) will provide new research capability in physiology, imaging and behavioral testing, lab representatives said.

“The CBA will have high-powered measurement and imaging devices to enable scientists to detect and measure extremely subtle signs of disease at the cellular level. This information, coupled with gene sequencing data and analysis, will further [the lab’s] mission to pinpoint the genetic roots of disease and speed the search for better treatments,” project representative Sarah Nicholson of Woodard Curran wrote in the site plan application.

Nicholson and the lab’s Facilities Engineer Patrick Taber presented the application and answered questions from the board. The building was designed by Harriman Associates.

No members of the public offered comment at the hearing.

The Planning Board voted 3-1 to approve the site plan application following a May 18 public hearing, with the condition that a building permit for the project not be issued until the lab receives a permit from the State Fire Marshal’s office.

Board members Ivan Rasmussen, Tom St. Germain and Basil Eleftheriou voted in favor of approving the plan. Joe Cough voted against it, citing concerns about the building’s loading berths and about comprehensive site review.

The proposed facility will result in the need to hire an additional 14 employees at JAX, according to the application materials.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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