Galveston National Library ready to begin work

Officials with the Galveston National Library report that work is about to begin in earnest to develop vaccines to combat infectious diseases and bioterrorist threats.

Officials now say the 186,276-square-foot, $174 million facility, which was dedicated 20 months ago, is ready to “go hot”, meaning fully operational, reports.

Officials told that researchers will move in and begin their work in the laboratory, which took 2,400 workers five years to design, engineer and build.

The facility contains approximately 14,000 square feet of Biosafety Level 4 space, where the most exotic and deadly viruses and pathogens, like the Ebola virus, will be studied.

The lab also contains abut 29,000 square feet of Biosafety Level 3 space, required for agents that could cause serious or potentially lethal diseases.

“We’re really excited,” Joan Nichols, associate director for research and operations at the laboratory, told “We’ve been working hard since before Ike to get the facility put together and we’re really looking forward to the day we have people working in the building and doing what we’re supposed to do.”

The National Biocontainment Training Center, which is tasked with teaching scientists how to work safely in high-containment research laboratories worldwide, will also be housed at the medical branch.