West Virginia University has awarded a $21.5 million construction contract to the March Westin Co. of Morgantown to complete the Universitys Biomedical Research Facility.

The structure, now under construction at WVU s Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center in Morgantown, is scheduled for completion in late spring, 2008.

Last year, March Westin won the $5 million contract to provide excavation, foundation and steel framing work for the building. That work is nearly done, according to WVU officials.

The public can check on the progress of the project at the construction webcam, http://www.health.wvu.edu/construction/biomed.html .

The new contract will include the build-out of the laboratories, interior outfitting and finishing.
p. Late in 2004, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., added $20 million for the project to the Fiscal Year 2005 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill which was wrapped into a larger federal funding package.

“The new Biomedical Research Facility at WVU is a beacon of hope to West Virginians who know first-hand the suffering caused by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other serious illnesses. When these labs are complete, WVU scientists will be able to expand their efforts and accelerate their progress toward better diagnosis and cure for these dread diseases,”Byrd said.

The new building is being constructed just east of the existing Health Sciences Building at WVU , and will include 120,000 square feet of laboratory and support space on four floors. As part of the March Westin contract, two of the floors will be fully finished, and two will be shell space that can be converted to laboratories as WVU s research program grows.

This project is crucial to the completion of our long-term Strategic Research Plan,said Robert M. DAlessandri, M.D., WVU vice president for health sciences.By creating state-of-the art research labs, we can continue to recruit faculty scientists of national caliber to our University. We are very appreciative of the support that Senator Byrd has provided to this effort and to other projects that support education, research and patient care at WVU .