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Construction to Begin on Research Park’s New Building

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Ground will be broken for the first building in the expansion of the Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 15, at the intersection of First Street and Salem Avenue.

Biotechnology Research Facility 1 will be a 160,000-square-foot, five-story structure that will provide laboratory and office space for researchers from Wake Forest University Health Sciences and Winston-Salem State University. Additional space will be shelled in and held for biotechnology companies.

“This new space will be a major enhancement for the research park,” said Bill Dean, the president of Idealliance, the community not-for-profit that manages and markets the research park. “It will provide much needed facilities for new scientific discovery and future research and development.”

“We are grateful for the growing support of the public and private business sectors as well as the commitments at the state and federal level to see the park development become a reality,” said Richard H. Dean, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Wake Forest University Health Sciences. “This is just the beginning.”

The project will also include a 450-space, six-level parking deck that will be constructed on the site of the existing parking lot behind the Piedmont Triad Community Research Center (PTCRC) at First and Chestnut. The PTCRC houses Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Project Strengthen from Winston-Salem State University.

The project will cost about $70 million, according to Douglas L. Edgeton, senior vice president for finance and administration and chief operating officer of Wake Forest University Health Sciences.

Some basic science programs of Wake Forest University School of Medicine will be relocated to the building, including the newly formed Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine and portions of the atherosclerosis research program, the medical school’s largest and longest running research program. That program began in 1957 with the discovery that pigeons could get hardening of the arteries.

According to Rick Ericson, project manager for the architect, O’Brien/Atkins Associates of Research Triangle Park, one of the five floors will be below ground. Because of the large amount of space needed between floors in a laboratory building, and a mechanical penthouse, the structure will be more than 90 feet tall. It will be very prominent from Business 40.

The building will be placed diagonally on the site, paralleling Salem Avenue, he said. One block of Patterson Avenue, between First Street and Technology Way, will be permanently closed.

Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of 2005, according to Tom Ingram, project manager for PTRP Holdings LLC, which was established to acquire and hold land for the research park.

The Community Planning and Economic Development Initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made two grants totaling $1.1 million for planning the structures. In addition, support is being sought from the state and federal transportation departments and the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce to help fund associated infrastructure.

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Media Contacts: Robert Conn (rconn@wfubmc.edu), Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, or Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

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