Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will begin construction in the spring on a six-floor expansion on top of the Steven & Susan Lipstein BJC Institute of Health building, which sits at the center of the Medical Campus. The addition, estimated to cost $150 million, will include 160,000 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratory space.
The expansion will house a 7,900-square-foot biosafety level 3 (BSL-3), or high-containment, laboratory to support research on infectious viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and tuberculosis. BSL-3 laboratories use specialized ventilation and other systems that safely enable the study of viruses that spread through the air, so that scientists can develop diagnostic tools, treatments and vaccines — all essential steps in controlling epidemics.
The building expansion also will include a 5,100-square-foot Biologic Therapy Core Facility, following Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations (enforced by the Food and Drug Administration), for cellular therapies to treat cancer; 103,000 square feet of expanded laboratory space; and about 44,000 square feet of mechanical building-support areas.
“This building addition is a very exciting and critically important next step in the growth of the medical school and will enable us to provide much needed laboratory space and expand our research mission,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, and the George and Carol Bauer Endowed Dean of the School of Medicine. “These new laboratories are ideally located to spur collaborative innovation in the most important areas of science for advancing knowledge and developing new therapies in the coming decades.”
The BJC Institute of Health building faces Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza. During construction, Hope Plaza will be closed. Until the plaza reopens in winter 2024, pedestrians will be routed to the plaza’s perimeter and will use a covered walkway to reach the front door of the BJC Institute of Health building. A portion of Wohl Circle Drive, which is in front of the Medical Campus’ Wohl Hospital Building, also will be closed during construction and is anticipated to reopen for patient traffic in spring 2024.
The Lawrence Group is the project architect, and Alberici Healthcare LLC will oversee construction.