New Construction

University of Vermont Opens New Medical Research Facility

The University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., recently celebrated the grand opening of a new medical research building as part of the Larner College of Medicine. The Firestone Medical Research Building covers 62,650 square feet and will feature amenities like flexible research lab space, lab support, administrative space, core space for circulation, and more. It will also play home to multidisciplinary research teams in fields like lung disease, cancer, cardiovascular health, and brain health, according to a university news release.

Construction on the project began in Sept. 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic. Despite nationwide construction delays, the university continued the project as biomedical research into the SARS-CoV-2virus was in full swing.

“Those early days of the pandemic taught us many lessons, some of them heartbreaking in nature, and they deeply underscored the value of biomedical research,” said Larner College of Medicine Dean RichardL. Page, M.D., at the ceremony. “So even in the depths of the crisis, when we might have been forgiven, and forgiven ourselves, for delaying the plans for the Firestone Building until less tumultuous times, we decided to forge ahead.”

The news release reports that the facility has the capacity for 250faculty, students and staff, as well as 42 principal investigator offices and 150 lab bench stations.The university partnered with architects-of-record Payette and Black River Design and with construction firm PC Construction. The facility comes with a price tag of about $45 million.

“The work that happens on this campus every day—in every college andschool—directly impacts the quality of life for people near and far,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “The Center for SharedBiomedical Resources is a key example of our institution bringing into being a resource for the entire region, beyond just those directly connected to UVM. Researchers at other institutions and in state government will be able to take advantage of the technology at the center.”