The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) is proposing moving their existing facility from 455 1st Ave (btw 27th & 28th, across from Bellevue Hospital) to the Harlem Hospital Campus where they propose to construct a new 10-story approx. 234,742 gsf building to be used as the NYC Public Health Laboratory.
A community forum to discuss the Relocation will be held Thursday, April 29th, 2021 from 6pm-8pm.
Click link below to register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
The location is on West 137th Street, between 5th and Lenox Avenues:
Here is the DOHMH Press Release:
New Public Health Laboratory on the Harlem Hospital Campus
About the Public Health Laboratory
The New York City Health Department’s Public Health Laboratory (PHL) was established in 1892 and performs critical testing to detect and respond to public health emergencies, helping to keep New Yorkers safe and healthy. For example, PHL tests and ensures the safety of our drinking and beach water. In recent years, the PHL has provided emergency response for H1N1, Ebola, hepatitis A, Legionnaires’ disease, Zika virus, measles and COVID-19.
The current PHL facility is located at 455 First Ave., across from Bellevue Hospital and in a residential neighborhood. The PHL is held to the strictest of standards and has never adversely impacted their neighbors or the community. The PHL’s current building is outdated, in poor condition and no longer suitable for the needs of a state of the art, modern and advanced laboratory. Renovation of the 455 1st Ave building to bring it up to current laboratory standards is not possible.
The Location of the Public Health Laboratory
The new PHL facility will be on the Harlem Hospital campus, beside the Ronald Brown Ambulatory Care Center facing 137th Street. While the PHL facility will be a new construction project, DOHMH has been a partner in the neighborhood for many years, with the DOHMH Sexual Health Clinic nearby at 2238 5th Avenue. The 10 story PHL facility will have 5 lab floors and 5 floors primarily dedicated to administrative and back-of-house functions, as well as an auditorium, training lab and “Harlem Express” facility (discussed below).
How the New Public Health Laboratory Facility Will Benefit the Harlem Community
The new facility will include the “Harlem Express” on the main level, where New Yorkers can get screened for sexually transmitted infections with rapid results — one of a few such testing centers in the United States. New Yorkers currently utilize the “Chelsea Express” in the Chelsea neighborhood, so it’s exciting to bring this advanced, rapid testing technology uptown. The Harlem Express will also be able to pivot to provide testing and medicines needed during a public health emergency. For example, the Chelsea Express and new labs built at other DOHMH clinics, including the Central Harlem clinic, are now providing COVID-19 testing in communities, with same day results.
The PHL will provide training opportunities for students and plans to connect with neighborhood schools to encourage careers in laboratory science. The DOHMH has a robust partnership with CUNY’s Medical Laboratory Sciences program at Hunter. Many of those students begin with internships, then move onto full time careers at the PHL.
The new facility will also include a 200-person auditorium for community use. We envision the space to be used by the community for meetings, events and gatherings. We want to be good neighbors and partners in the community.
Additional Information About the New Public Health Laboratory Building
The new PHL facility will not permanently take away any spots for on street parking. Employees are encouraged to take mass transit. Six off-street parking spaces will be created as part of the PHL project to support the operation of the laboratory. An undeveloped lot will remain next to the new PHL facility, which may be developed by Harlem Hospital in the future.
Construction activities will be conducted according to the NYC Noise Control Code. The contractor will be required to develop a noise control plan, as well as a dust control plan, which will proactively address how to prevent dust from rising and spreading in the neighborhood. Noise and dust will be kept to a minimum.
- Early 2020 – 2022: Preparation of the site to build the new PHL facility.
- 2022 – 2025: Construction of the new 10-story building will occur.
- End of 2025: The new Public Health Lab facility will open.
Contact us at [email protected]if you have any questions.
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