Business and community leaders joined Dr. David Fitzpatrick, CEO and Scientific Director at the Max Planck Florida Institute, for a brief ceremony and reception on April 7 to mark the “topping out” of construction on the 100,000-square-foot biomedical research facility that will become the permanent home to the first U.S.-based Institute for Germany’s Max Planck Society. Palm Beach County leaders joined Max Planck Florida Institute board members and scientists in signing a ceremonial steel beam that was then hoisted in the air by crane and set into the top of the building.
“This is a significant milestone for the Max Planck Florida Institute and for Palm Beach County,” said Dr. Fitzpatrick. “Our new facility will enable our scientists to generate cutting edge research that will explain how neural circuits of the brain are organized, how they function, and how they are constructed during development – information that is critical for understanding a host of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Our growth will have an impact on job creation, workforce development and science education here in the county – and we are committed to these goals.”
Guests in attendance included Palm Beach County Commissioners Karen Marcus and Paulette Burdick; Business Development Board of Palm Beach County President Kelly Smallridge; Jupiter Mayor Karen Golonka; North Palm Beach Chamber President Ed Chase; George Elmore; Bob Eigen; Shannon LaRocque; Pat Lester; Michael and Barbara Mitrione; and Nancy and David Auth.
Built by a joint-venture partnership of The Weitz Company and DPR Construction, Inc., the new state-of-the-art research facility will accommodate nearly 58,000-square-feet of laboratory space that will house wet and try bench research, instrumentation labs, computational research, core imaging facilities and microscope suites, information technology services and offices for researchers and support staff. There will be three research wings, including six guest labs to facilitate collaborative research with the scientific community in the field. Conference rooms, a 100-seat auditorium, lounges and administration offices are centrally located around an open lobby that connects all three floor levels. Building features also include tropical landscaping, outdoor seating, a 230-space surface parking lot and pedestrian-friendly pathways connecting Max Planck Florida Institute to neighboring buildings on the FAU campus.
Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2012. For more information and a live video feed of the construction progress, visit www.maxplanckflorida.org.