Skanska, NYCEDC, And Health Department Announce The Topping Out Of The EDC Public Health Lab Project In Harlem

September 21, 2023

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) along with community leaders and development partners gathered on 137th Street in Harlem, NY.

Thsi was for the topping off ceremony for the new NYC Public Health Laboratory building which remains on track to be completed by the end of 2025 and ready for occupancy in 2026.

This cutting-edge facility, which broke ground last year, will be located adjacent to the Harlem Hospital complex on 137th Street in Harlem and provide new job opportunities for local residents, training opportunities for student in the new facility’s training lab, an auditorium for community use, and the Harlem Express – a unique facility for people to get screened for STIs with rapid, same day results – one of a few such facilities in the country.

“Today’s topping off ceremony brings this project another step closer to completion and towards giving the historic Public Health Laboratory the proper facility it deserves,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “We are thankful to DOHMH, H+H, Harlem Hospital, (Elected Officials), project partners, and the community for this tremendous progress made today.”

“The Public Health Lab has a sterling history and present, in protecting New Yorkers from threats to their health,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “This state-of-the-art facility now matches this incredible legacy with an even brighter future that promises innovation, ingenuity and impact, that supports our amazing PHL staff who work so hard to keep our city safe, and that is in keeping with what New Yorkers deserve from their public health infrastructure.”

“Our public health infrastructure is a critical part of our City’s ability to best serve New Yorkers, and with this topping-off ceremony, we are one step closer to bringing a new world-class facility online,” said NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “We are excited to see how our collaborative efforts with NYCEDC and DOHMH will benefit all those who use the Public Health Laboratory in the near future. We know that with its sustainable design and innovative technology, it will serve its community for generations to come. We are proud to have helped fund this project, including solar photovoltaic installations, ultra-efficient lab equipment, enhanced ventilation, and more.”

The New York City Public Health Laboratory has been champion advocate for the health of all New Yorkers…Adriano Espaillat

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“The New York City Public Health Laboratory has been champion advocate for the health of all New Yorkers, ” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “This new state-of-the-art facility will help boost job creation for individuals and families in my district as well as provide cutting-edge technology at the forefront of public health research and innovation.”

“Combining groundbreaking scientific research with local employment, education, and healthcare opportunities, the next era for the NYC Public Health Lab will ensure a brighter, healthier future for New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.

The NYC Public Health Laboratory was the world’s first municipal bacteriological laboratory. In the century since its first campaign to control diphtheria in NYC, the Public Health Lab has expanded to provide a variety of clinical and environmental laboratory testing services to detect and characterize disease-causing organisms.

Since the 1960s, the Public Health Lab has occupied 11 floors of a 335,000-square-foot, 14-story building, across the street from Bellevue Hospital at 455 First Avenue. The Public Health Lab has expanded over the years, and the more than 200 staff members now provide a variety of clinical and environmental laboratory testing services including community testing for tuberculosis and sexual health-associated diseases; antibiotic resistance testing; foodborne disease investigations; outbreak response (Ebola, Legionnaires’ disease, COVID-19, monkeypox); whole genome sequencing; beach water and wastewater pathogen monitoring; and biothreat agent testing.


New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity, build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city’s future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook.

The NYC Health Department

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene works to protect and promote the health of 8 million New Yorkers. With more than 200 years of leadership in public health, the agency’s work ranges from inspection grades of dining establishments to supporting low-to-no-cost community health clinics. The Department is also behind the scenes with disease detectives, investigating suspicious clusters of illness as well as studying the patterns, causes and effects of health and disease conditions in New York City neighborhoods, which shape policy decisions and the City’s health agenda.

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