Butte County Public Health Laboratory

1668.1 PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY project page


Recently the Butte County Health Department unveiled their newly renovated Public Health Lab by Griffith Architects.  Here are some of our photo’s and the Chico’s Enterprise Record article for the event.


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Butte County Public Health shows off remodeled laboratory


POSTED:   09/12/2013 12:00:00 AM PDT

CHICO — Butte County Public Health went from having a laboratory that was built in the 1950s to a recently remodeled facility that’s prepared for the future in health.

“We had a lab that was out of age and we were barely getting by,” said Dr. Mark Lundberg, Butte County Health Officer. “It’s really an investment in the future and an investment to public health.”

Public health laboratories conduct tests to protect the community from disease and other health threats. There are approximately 300 in the United States, including 36 in California.

“I think that we’re more prepared to safely handle the most severe or concerning pathogens,” Lundberg said. “Some of the suites in here are designed to protect the environment and protect our staff. Some of these rooms you see in here we never had before, so we can more safely handle specimens than before.”Before the remodeling project, the laboratory on Oleander Avenue was less than half the size and inadequate for the experimentation that needed to be done.

The total project cost was roughly $1.2 million, said Thomas Cowles, general services project manager. The cost includes planning, design, budget management, construction and extra work around the building that was needed, such as new bathrooms and updated air conditioning.

Renovations finished in mid-May and the laboratory has been in full use since, said Greg Costo, laboratory director.

One of the biggest problems faced with the old lab was contamination between agents because there wasn’t enough room to separate them, Costo said. Now there’s enough room to isolate different tasks.

Safety was one of the main principles Costo gave David Griffith, architect and professional engineer for Griffith Architects. With that focus on safety, the lab features many clear windows and minimal blind spots.

“It’s a safer place to work, as well,” Costo said.

Reach Katrina Cameron at 896-7759, kcameron@chicoer.com, or on Twitter at @KatCameron91.