Opening of USAMRIID building at Fort Detrick pushed to 2017

Construction of a new building for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, will be pushed from May 2015 until July 2017.

A fire in the building's high-security research labs last summer will push the completion date back two years. The fire caused approximately $10 million in damage, the Frederick News Post reports.

"The project team is assessing the feasibility of turning over finished sections of the property to USAMRIID in advance of that date, in a collaborative effort to minimize delays caused by the fire," Clem Gaines, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said, according to the Frederick News Post.

Gaines said the building will not be ready for occupants and the labs will not be prepared for research until inspections are passed. The inspections will require additional time after construction is complete.

At the time of the August 14 fire, the research labs were approximately 95 percent complete. A welder's torch may have sparked the fire, which caused two people to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation. The 300 other individuals in the building were safely evacuated from the 800,000-square-foot building.

In October, a report from the Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore found that the lab's safety features may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. The workers were determined to not have the appropriate permits for work with an open flame at the same, the Frederick News Post reports.