It will take six years for the construction of the $450 million National Bio and Ago Defense Facility to be completed in Manhattan, but some of the work done by the laboratory can begin immediately in the existing Biosecurity Research Institute on campus.
The BRI, housed in Pat Roberts Hall, is a Level-3 containment facility, capable of safely housing research on all but the deadliest of animal pathogens. The NBAF will be a Level-4 facility.
The letter of final decision to locate the new facility in Manhattan was signed Monday by Jay Cohen, undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security. It will replace the laboratory at Plum Island, New York.
Kansas was one of five finalists for the laboratory and officials said it was chosen in part because of the existing facility and the proximity of additional animal health and research companies in a corridor from Columbia, Mo., to Manhattan.
Landing the NBAF is the culmination of a three-year effort by the University and state officials. Kansas will contribute $105 million to the project to pay for infrastructure at the 59-acre site.
The laboratory will bring hundreds of the world's top scientists to Kansas and is expected to have a $20-million annual economic impact.