MANHATTAN, Kan., May 29 (UPI) -- Ground was broken this week in Kansas on the final and largest phase of the $835 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility.
The facility is being built by McCarthy Mortensen NBAF A Joint Venture under contract from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and will house advanced research, diagnostic testing and validation, counter-measure development -- such as vaccines and anti-viral therapies -- and diagnostic training for high-consequence livestock diseases.
The facility will provide necessary infrastructure to improve understanding and preparedness for potential bio-terrorism using foreign animal disease and zoonotic disease pathogens.
"The NBAF will be a key component in our joint effort with USDA to advance research, which is critical to the security of our nation's food supply and agricultural economy," said Under Secretary Dr. Reginald Brothers with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. "This critical step also heightens our focus on recently initiated efforts to develop strategic partnerships with both private and public entities in the animal health arena to better leverage the research capabilities of the NBAF once it is operational."
McCarthy Building Companies Inc. is headquartered in St. Louis, Mo. Mortenson Construction of Minnesota is performing construction management services for the NBAF project. The State of Kansas and the city of Manhattan have provided funding for the project.
McCarthy/Mortenson has completed site preparation and is currently building an 87,000-square-foot, free-standing Central Utility Plant, or CUP, to house boilers, chillers, emergency diesel generators and other support elements for the main laboratory facility. The CUP is scheduled to be completed in October.