County officials broke ground for a new state-of-the-art public health lab at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa on October 4.

The new $93.3 million lab will be nearly three times the size of the old building, which is now closed due to its aging infrastructure.

The new two-story facility will measure 52,000 square feet and create space for nearly 90 employees and contractors, and still allow room to grow, according to the county.

The new facility will serve as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Lab for San Diego and Imperial counties, Additionally, the expanded facility also allows for additional services such as whole genome sequencing and testing for tuberculosis.

The decision to advance with the project came about following a comprehensive analysis, revealing the potential benefits of consolidating campus offices. This strategic move aims to vacate an existing four-story office building, which will then be repurposed to accommodate 600 staff members from the Health Services Center. This transition is expected to yield significant cost savings, estimated at $130 million, which will be allocated toward the construction of two vital facilities.

The first of these facilities is a state-of-the-art public health laboratory, representing a substantial investment of $33.8 million. This cutting-edge laboratory will play a pivotal role in bolstering public health initiatives, serving as a hub for research, diagnostics, and innovation. Simultaneously, a six-level parking garage is under construction adjacent to the laboratory, boasting an impressive capacity of more than 700 parking spaces. What makes this garage even more forward-thinking is its provision of up to 260 electric vehicle charging stations, a move that aligns with eco-conscious transportation trends.

Anticipated for completion in September 2024, the multi-level parking facility will cater to the needs of a diverse range of occupants. It will offer convenient parking options and embrace the growing adoption of electric vehicles, supporting sustainable mobility solutions. Following this, the public health laboratory is slated for opening in spring 2025, signifying a significant step forward in the region's healthcare and research capabilities.