Public Health Agency of Canada building state of the art infectious diseases lab

The Public Health Agency of Canada is transforming a vacant former laboratory building in Winnipeg into a state of the art infectious diseases research laboratory.

Construction has commenced on the PHAC’s new J.C. Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Center. The new building is designed to augment the work of the National Microbiology Laboratory, which has run out of laboratory space at its facility only a few blocks away, according to

The new facility will contain laboratories built to meet Level-2 Health Canada bio-containment standards. It will house PHAC’s Infectious Disease and Control Branch within the NML program. It is scheduled to become fully operational by February 2013.

PHAC bought the property in January of 2008. Built in 1979, it was previously used a provincial material testing and chemistry laboratory. It has remained vacant since May 2006, reports.

The project has received $42 million in capital funds and $26 million for operating costs. Construction costs are expected to be approximately $23 million, which have been included in the capital budget.

Public Works Canada reported that the original building was gutted and will be rebuilt according to architectural plans drafted by Smith Carter Architects and Engineers, Inc., a firm experienced in designing medical research centers.