Two years ago, Battelle announced plans to spend $200 million on new facilities, office modernization and equipment upgrades. In September, the huge research enterprise delivered the plan's centerpiece, the $90 million Center for Life Sciences Research (CLSR) in West Jefferson.

CLSR adds 220,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, supporting Battelle's research in public health, commercial health care and environmental services. The new facility also hosts environmental monitoring and control systems, telemetry and computer systems, test-article storage and more.

Senior program manager Jim Estep says employee safety is Battelle's No. 1 goal at the new facility. For example, "The building has a process in place for the chemical handling so people don't have to pick up jars or acid or something like that," Estep says. "It's all designed so the chemicals are dispensed or recovered without people having to touch it. Even though you do that safely in the laboratory, here you have it built in."

Ultimately, Battelle anticipates hiring 150 new scientists and technicians at CLSR, bringing the total number of workers at the West Jefferson campus to about 550.

Reprinted from the November 2011 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.