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Wohlsen Construction begins work with Delaware Public Health Laboratory (DPHL)

Wohlsen Construction is honored to be chosen to oversee an important public infrastructure expansion that will improve healthcare for the nearly 1 million citizens of Delaware.

Wohlsen will serve as construction manager for an expansion to the Delaware Public Health Laboratory (DPHL) in Smyrna. The project will nearly double the size of the facility, increasing DPHL’s capacity for routine and outbreak testing, to accommodate advanced technical laboratory staff and the infectious disease epidemiology program.

“Wohlsen is excited to partner with the State of Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services on this important laboratory expansion project to service the increasing health needs throughout the state of Delaware,” said Michael Berardi, Wohlsen Construction Senior Vice President.

As a reference laboratory, DPHL supports hospitals and other clinical and environmental laboratories. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for expanded reference testing.

This healthcare project involves 24,954 square feet of additions to the east and west sides of the existing 26,165-square-foot building. DPHL will gain two emerging infectious disease laboratories, new administrative office areas, an expanded warehouse, and increased mechanical/electrical space. In addition, a 40-person Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program will relocate from Dover.

Site work also includes:

  • 4,386 square feet of renovations in the main building, including the transition to the new areas
  • the evaluation and upgrading of existing building systems
  • expanded parking and fire department access lanes
  • the relocation of underground utility lines
  • the establishment of a stormwater management basin

The expansion will house critical instruments needed for genetic sequencing, wastewater, and future molecular amplification testing methods.

Wohlsen will manage construction in a manner allowing the facility to remain open and operational during the expansion. The healthcare project broke ground on January 19 and has an anticipated completion date of summer 2023.