Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Officials dedicate new building on FDA’s White Oak campus

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Chris Rossi⁄The Gazette
(From left) U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. cut the ribbon at Building 51 Friday.
The latest building at the new federal Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak was formally dedicated on Friday in a ceremony that included several legislators and FDA officials.

Building 51, an office building completed in January, will house more than 1,000 employees, bringing the total number of FDA employees at White Oak to more than 3,000, according to a news release from FDA.

The White Oak campus is the former site of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory.

Four other office buildings are under construction, and when complete, the facility will house about 5,700 workers, the release said.

When the campus is complete, about 7,700 workers will be located in White Oak.

The FDA campus will eventually include FDA’s Office of the Commissioner, Office of Regulatory Affairs, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and offices for the Center for Veterinary Medicine. The buildings include office and laboratories. Two of the labs, Life Sciences and Engineering and Physics, are already complete.

U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) of Pikesville, U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Dist. 5) of Mechanicsville, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) of Baltimore and U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. (D-Dist. 8) of Kensington were among the officials on hand Friday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Betsy Bretz, chairwoman of LabQuest, an association of nearby residents, said the community was excited to see the new development and planned on giving welcome bags to the new employees.

‘‘It’s the kind of building ... that will be able to attract first-class people and do first-class work in helping all of us,” she said. ‘‘It’s a great community asset and we’re just delighted to have the 3,100 employees on the site.”