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July 10, 2018

$200M Jackson Lab facility set to open in Ellsworth next month

Photos / Courtesy Jackson Laboratory
Photos / Courtesy Jackson Laboratory
The Jackson Laboratory will open the completed first phase of a new $200 million mouse-breeding facility in Ellsworth next month.

The Jackson Laboratory, a prominent biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, will open the completed first phase of a new $200 million mouse-breeding facility in Ellsworth next month.

The Bangor Daily News reported that JAX will celebrate the opening of its new Kingsland Crossing building, formerly a Lowe's Home Improvement store, at an Aug. 23 invitation-only ribbon-cutting event. The four-phase project broke ground two years ago.

By 2026, when it is complete, the 208,000-square-foot facility is expected to create up to 350 local jobs. JAX currently employs about 1,800 people, including 1,200 in Bar Harbor.

Construction costs for the first phase are expected to total about $80 million, JAX Senior Director of Facilities John Fitzpatrick told the BDN. JAX originally estimated the cost of the entire project at $140 million. But the estimate grew as a result of delays and changes in the project's scope.

Phase 2 of the project started in May, and should be complete by 2020, at a cost of $60 million.

The first mice are expected to enter the facility, called a vivarium, in October. Incremental hiring will follow, with 80 to 90 workers employed by the second quarter of 2019. Bred with traits and under conditions necessary for biologic research, the mice will be sold to research labs around the world.

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