New York officials have selected a joint venture of Gilbane Building Co. and Turner Construction Co., along with architect and engineering firm HOK, to design and build a $750-million public health laboratory project, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.

New York’s Wadsworth Laboratory is the largest state public health lab in the U.S., New York officials say. It has played a central role in New York’s COVID-19 response. But its operations are currently spread across five facilities in New York’s Capital Region in the eastern middle part of the state, totaling about 900,000 sq ft, records show. Officials want to consolidate those operations into a single 750,000-sq-ft laboratory on the Harriman State Office Campus Complex in Albany.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, which is working with the state Dept. of Health to develop the new facility, received one proposal in response to an RFP, an agency spokesperson told ENR.

The contracting will be broken up into several phases. New York has so far signed a $1.9-million contract with the joint venture for the programming phase of the project. Officials say this initial step will explore design options and ways to enhance the state’s readiness to respond to future public health crises.

“The Wadsworth Laboratory has been at the forefront of public health since its inception,” David Schwartz, HOK’s leader of science and technology in New York, said in a statement. “This is a significant opportunity to redefine the future of public health for both New York and the country.”

State officials envision the campus including a complex with a main lab building with biology and chemistry labs, vivarium space, disease labs built to a high containment standard, particulate clean rooms and nuclear chemistry labs. The 27-acre site will also include support spaces such as a shipping warehouse, hazards receipt facility, central utility plant and maintenance garage, according to proposal solicitation materials.