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Masonic Medical Research Laboratory announces nearly $3M project to improve Utica facility

masonic medical research to improve utica facilityUTICA, N.Y. — The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) plans to spend nearly $3 million on a project to renovate its research facilities.

The $2.75 million project represents the “first time in over a decade” that the MMRL has undertaken such an effort, the organization said in a news release issued Friday.

MMRL will use a $550,000 state award from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Mohawk Valley regional economic-development council to help pay for the project.


MMRL will pay the remaining cost through a “mix” of the laboratory’s resources, which include both current funds and future fundraising efforts.

Erasmus Schneider, associate director for research and technology at the Wadsworth Center, represented Cuomo at Friday’s announcement to “highlight the value of enhanced” research facilities in the Mohawk Valley.

“This expansion and modernization is a vital advancement in the lab’s life-saving research. As you begin construction today, you are fulfilling strategic goals in the area of health care and wellness and keeping up with cutting-edge medical technology. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I gratefully acknowledge the leadership and commitment of those involved with this renovation of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory,” said a letter from Cuomo that Schneider read.

Wadsworth Center, which is part of the New York State Department of Health, says it is a “science-based community committed to protecting and improving the health of New Yorkers through laboratory analysis, investigations and research, as well as laboratory certification and educational programs.”

The project

MMRL is still finalizing the details of the 6,800-square-foot renovation, but notes the renovation of its second and third floors is a “long overdue project.”

The work will involve “entirely” reconfiguring both floors.

The second floor will have an “updated, open concept” laboratory space, fit with modern laboratory modules similar to its genetics wing.

The improvements will also involve “general high technology advances” throughout the third floor.

Crews will update electrical, plumbing, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems “as necessary” to support the renovations and installation of new equipment.

The renovated space will help “transition traditional electrophysiology to more innovative” research that both “combines and coordinates” electrophysiology with molecular biology and genetics technology, MMRL said.

MMRL has expanded its footprint “several” times during its 60-year history, including a “major” addition in 1988 when a second floor was added to the Royal Arch Masons Wing.

In 2002, a $400,000 renovation project “brought the facility up to date” with handicapped accessibility and other improvements to the building’s facade.

The last “major” addition occurred in 2004, when the $2 million molecular genetics and molecular biology wing opened.


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