New state labs in Randolph almost complete

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RANDOLPH CENTER, Vt. (WCAX) The last major state construction project after Tropical Storm Irene is almost complete.

Back in 2011, Tropical Storm Irene flooded the state office complex, destroying laboratories for both the Agency of Agriculture and the Agency of Natural Resources. Next month, both agencies are expected to be moving into their new spot.

Most of us who were around remember Tropical Storm Irene and the devastation it caused. That includes flooding newly designed labs in Waterbury.

"It flooded the entire area of the building and I guess it compromised the foundation of the building," said Judy Rosovsky, an entomologist with the Agency of Agriculture.

Because the building was unusable, the labs were split up. Rosovsky says in February things can go back to how they were intended to be, with everyone back together working in the same building. That will make it easier for the agencies to collaborate like they used to.

"We can talk to each other and we have a lot of exciting things happening and people come up with new ideas or new approaches or projects they can work on that are to the benefit of the state. We can share resources, you know, you can do more," Rosovsky said.

The new 36,000-square-foot building cost the state about $28 million, about $8 million more than the state originally budgeted.

We got a tour from Guy Roberts, the director of Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Labs.

"Facilities that are tailored to their needs, updated for better communication, better bench space for their instruments, easy access. Particularly on the bottom floor," Roberts said.

The new building is next to the Vermont Technical College. One of the benefits to the new spot is the possibility of working with students there.