2001 SE. 6th St., Minneapolis

Type: Laboratory

Size: 80,000 square feet

Cost: $63 million

Developer: University of Minnesota

Architects: BWBR Architects

Details: The final building of the University of Minnesota's $292 million Biomedical Discovery District has been officially launched with the approval of a bond issue for the 80,000-square-foot microbiology research facility.

The Board of Regents last month signed off on the financing plan for the state-supported effort, and construction on the new lab is expected to begin in late fall, said Richard Johnson, director of capital project management for the university.

"It's being built right to the north of our Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, which just opened in June," he said. "The entire site had foundations from the old grain silos, and we just finished removing the remaining foundations where this new microbiology building will get built. That work is now complete."

The next step to begin in the fall, if all goes according to plan, is to lay down the foundation system for the new building with an eye toward an expected 2015 opening, he said.

The new facility, designed by BWBR Architects and with M.A. Mortenson as construction manager, will include labs, offices, collaborative "hotel" work areas and support spaces for the study of infectious diseases and the ­development of new drugs and vaccines.

It will house the university's Department of Microbiology as well as faculty from many other disciplines, colleges and schools within its Academic Health Center.

Don Jacobson is a freelance writer in St. Paul. He can be reached at hotproperty.startribune@gmail.com.