ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health announced Thursday it will construct a new state health laboratory and separate training facility in Prattville.
"We are excited to announce plans to build a facility on the cutting edge of 21st century laboratory technology to replace the current, outdated 1970s-era building," said Acting State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris. "The new laboratory will provide the latest technical and mechanical systems for improved biosafety and biosecurity..." he went on.
The 130 employees at the state's Bureau of Clinical Labs play a critical role in the state's health. They touch the lives of nearly every citizen whether through the genetic disorder screening of every Alabama-born baby, investigations of disease outbreaks and water testing, and even assisting the FBI in the event of biological or chemical terrorism.
"We are excited the [ADPH] is officially a Partner of Prattville," Prattville Mayor Bill Gillispie, Jr. said. "We appreciate their investment in our community..."
Construction on the $30 million project should begin in summer 2018 in Prattville's Legends Park at HomePlace. It will take up 12 acres overlooking the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.
When finished, the training center will employ approximately 175 full-time staffers and will be used to train ADPH staff statewide and house other ADPH bureaus.