Construction has reached something of a halfway point as UMass officials celebrated the ongoing work at the Massachusetts Accelerator for Biomanufacturing.

The MAB, part of the UMass Dartmouth campus in Fall River, is the first building to take up residence in the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park.

UMass Board of Trustees member James Karam says gateway cities like Fall River and New Bedford have been left out of the bio-tech industry for too long, and the MAB will change that.

The 35,000 square foot building will house state-of-the-art laboratories, research and development space, and other amenities. The $28-million MAB building will be complete next fall.

To commemorate the halfway point, a steel beam bearing the signatures of faculty, staff, and students was unveiled on site.