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Gorgas Memorial Institute To Become a Museum

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Historic Institute will become museum

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SCIENTISTS  at Panama’s renowned Gorgas  Memorial Institute (ICEGS) have been pressing for new facilities since the start of the century but will have to wait at least five more years before their  new $189 million headquarters  is ready

The first step was taken on November 17, when a contract was awarded for the design, and development of plans and the analysis of costs for the first building.

The project was awarded to the Samudio Page CM Consortium, at a cost of $3 million.

The company will have nine months to develop this stage reports La Prensa.

Néstor Sosa, director of Icges, said that it includes the building of research and diagnosis laboratories and of biosecurity, a security checkpoint, and parking areas, reports La Prensa.

In the first building it is planned to relocate about 30% of the Icges staff,  from the departments of Virology, Genomics and Parasitology He  said that the order to proceed with the  preparation of the study, design and development of plans must be delivered this month, so they are ready by 2018 and start construction at the latest at the beginning of 2019.

The financing of this first phase of the new headquarters of the Gorgas Institute will be through a $70 million loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, which was recently endorsed by the Government.

The original structure of Icges, located since 1928 on Avenida Justo Arosemena, and  declared a national historic site  in  September, is  too small to provide adequate  space for its 500 staff, including scientists and administrators

gorgas-1.jpgGorgas senior researcher José Calzada said that, although it is a property with great historical value the facilities “are no longer appropriate for research,” and researchers are spread over three buildings of the Santo Tomás Hospital.

Juan Miguel Pascale, deputy director of the institute, said that this year $200,000  has been budgeted   for the adaptation and conservation of the original building, where it is planned to create  a museum which will include The Icges zoological collection and a museum of tropical  medicine

Tthe new headquarters will be on a 6.5-hectare plot, in Chivo Chivo, close to the City of Health, in Ancón. “ Campus Gorgas”, will have six buildings, and a value of around $189 million.



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