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Construction of poultry lab back on track

Summer rain hampered 27 days of construction on the new Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network headquarters building in North Hall, but the project is now back on track.

The past couple weeks of mostly sunny, dry weather has helped the contractor, Manhattan Construction, pick up the pace.

So, while bad weather “has hampered them to do some things, the site has maintained pretty good integrity throughout,” he said. “Manhattan has done a great job of doing things they could do and laying off things they shouldn’t do.

“Even though we’re a little bit behind in schedule, I think (that with) this stretch of dry weather, by Friday we may be within a day of (being on) schedule, which I think is great.”

The completion date remains  4 June 2014. Poultry lab officials expect to move into new quarters in July or August, Smith said.

The lab has operated for about 50 years in an aging — and now partially condemned — building off Oakwood Road in Oakwood, providing diagnostic and monitoring services to the poultry industry and private poultry owners, as well as performing other tasks.

“The health of poultry flocks across Georgia has a critical importance,” Deal said at the time. “This new laboratory will play a key role in protecting the jobs of tens of thousands of Georgians and in sustaining this state’s annual $28 billion poultry industry.”

The lab will be the first occupant in the industrial park, where Hall County has committed to $10 million in improvements, including water, sewer, storm systems and roadways. “With this facility, we’ll have the best lab network on the face of this globe,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black has said.

One of the building’s key features will be a mezzanine, where people can tour the facility without entering infected areas.

“To see this building come on track for the growers and the economy of the state of Georgia is just beyond words,” Smith said during a tour of the site Monday morning. “And then you think of the magnitude of the poultry industry in Georgia and what this building means to us for the next 100 years,” Smith said.

Source: Gainsville Times

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