COVID-19 Rapid Response: Morrisania Health Center COVID Testing Lab altCOVID-19 Rapid Response: Morrisania Health Center COVID Testing Lab alt







At the height of the pandemic, in June 2020, Morrisania in the Bronx was in desperate need for medical and social support. BKSK collaborated with SmithGroup and NYCDDC to design and construct an emergency COVID-19 Testing Lab in just 8 weeks. The facility was created within a 50-year old structure that housed an NYC DOHMH clinic. A key aspect of the project was the challenge of retrofitting a building that was not built for the level of containment needed for a contagious disease testing lab. The existing space, including an employee lounge, offices and storage rooms, was part of the Morrisania Health Clinic, a DOH-operated building. The new lab, also created from existing office space, required particular attention to upgrading the enclosure to provide the environmental conditions necessary for laboratory testing.

To meet the specific requirements of the Lab, our team worked closely with DOHMH and the DDC to understand testing procedures and protocols, traffic and circulation flows, and environmental conditions required to maintain the integrity of the space. This required daily coordination meetings between DDC, DOH and the full design team, procuring 20 approvals from regulatory agencies including DOB, FDNY, NYSDEC, DEP and PDC, and pushing the boundaries of Microsoft Teams-based collaboration.


ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards, Building/Technology Systems Platinum Award, 2021

Medical Planning – SmithGroup; MEP Engineer – JFK&M Consulting Group; Structural Engineer – LERA;  Consulting; Construction Manager – Jacobs; Expeditor/Code Consultant – J. Callahan