Dallas County’s Health and Human Services Division near Pegasus Park is expected to get underway by the end of the year, according to a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filing.
With an estimated construction cost of $44 million, the “new development on vacant land will consist of … a new three story office building with parking lots, sidewalks, and all other required infrastructure.”
The filing indicates the property will encompass more than 65,000 square feet in the 1400 block of West Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, about three miles from the county’s Health and Human Service Division on North Stemmons Freeway.
In a report written by Dallas County’s Office of Special Projects in May, officials described their plans for the “BSL3 laboratory facility,” or biosafety lab-3, after the county received almost $512 million in American Rescue Plant Act Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds two years earlier.
“This significant capital initiative will allow the Health & Human Services Division a new centralized, efficient, and state of the art BSL3 laboratory facility to meet the current and growing needs of the department,” the report shows.
“The importance of a new site was highlighted by the unprecedented COVID-19 emergency and the need for HHS to respond to the coronavirus and its ongoing safety and high consequence impacts. The current setting has played a pivotal role in providing emergency diagnostics for Monkeypox, West Nile Virus, H1N1 influenza, Ebola, Zika, COVID, and other pinnacle public health investigations, but is close to thirty years old,” the report stated.
The new lab, according to the report, will resolve “current inefficiencies” while supporting large-scale public health responses. Biosafety levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, range from 1 to 4, with each building on the controls of the level before it.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins did not return a message seeking comment about the project.
The state filing indicates construction is set to begin on Dec. 29 and conclude in August 2025. Page Southerland Page of Dallas is listed as the design firm.
The new lab will be built less than two miles from Pegasus Park, near the UT Southwestern Medical Center campus. The Dallas Express previously reported that Pegasus Park is where Southern Methodist University has announced it will open an Institute for Computational Biosciences at the campus.
Several other North Texas healthcare centers and non-profit organizations, including UT Southwestern, Health Wildcatters, and Taysha Gene Therapies, have already secured space at Pegasus Park. It is already home to BioLabs, a coworking laboratory space for life science startups that encompasses more than 37,000 square feet, The Dallas Express has reported.