ELLSWORTH — Officials from The Jackson Laboratory will share details of the lab’s plans for its new facility in Ellsworth at a meeting on Thursday evening.
The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. in the Darling’s Auto Mall showroom at the corner of High Street and Kingsland Crossing, a stone’s throw from the old Lowe’s store where the lab’s facility will be.
In a letter announcing the meeting, John Fitzpatrick — the lab’s senior director of facilities services — said that “after three long years of planning, we will soon begin construction of state-of-the-art vivarium space at our Ellsworth facility on Kingsland Crossing.”
The lab purchased the former Lowe’s building in 2012. A vivarium is a space, typically indoors, used for raising animals for observation or research. The lab raises mice for genetics research, and its goal is to have all of its East Coast mouse production operations housed at the Ellsworth facility.
Right now, most of those operations take place at the lab’s Bar Harbor campus. Shifting that work to Ellsworth will allow the lab to use space in Bar Harbor for research, education and conference center space.
“Our long awaited Ellsworth expansion will allow The Jackson Laboratory to remain competitive and position it for continued growth as the world’s leading provider of research mice,” Fitzpatrick said in his letter.
The projected price tag for the Ellsworth facility is $75 million. It is projected to create 230 new jobs in Ellsworth within a decade of starting operation, and is expected to house 640,000 mice by the end of that time period.