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Biotechnology Center opening pushed back

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Biotechnology Center opening pushed back
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The first phase of the Biotechnology Research Center will be done soon. But the opening of the facility in Syracuse will not happen for at least a few months. This is not the first time the project has been delayed. Our Iris St. Meran tells us when we can expect it to be occupied.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- This time last year, this building was just a foundation of beams. But construction crews have been working on the first phase of the Biotechnology Research Center.

Upstate Medical University Facilities and Planning Vice President Tom Pelis said, "Phase one of the project was to construct the building shell, to finish one-and-a-half floors, which includes seven laboratories, as well as administrative offices."

That is expected to be completed in a few weeks. It's a $22 million undertaking in a partnership between Upstate Medical University and SUNY ESF. After breaking ground in 2009, construction was stalled waiting for state funding.

Work resumed last spring with a projected opening of this past June. The delay is for good reason: Additional funding was received for phase two, which will have eight smaller incubator labs.

"We thought about the time people would start moving in for phase one, we would start construction for phase two,” Pelis added. “That made really no sense so we don't expect occupancy to occur much before the end of the year."

This has been a labor of love and Pelis says he's proud of the progress.

"We have a lot of interest in this facility. It's the only one of its kind in the area," Pelis.

He can't say how many clients are booked for this space, but says there's a committee to vet potential occupants. They will consist of startup companies looking to develop their research.

If you'd like to learn more about the Biotech Center, Upstate Medical University has a website with information on programs, services and much more. Visit www.upstate.edu/biocenter

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