Work set to begin on new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security recently have released $40 million to allow work to begin on the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, which will be located on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

The new facility will replace the aging lab on Plum Island, reports. The new Level Four biolab will combat the threat of naturally occurring animal diseases and argoterrorism and conduct research on animal and human disease that currently have no cures.

Construction is set to begin this fall. While the research center will not be completed until 2018, groundwork is under way to pave the way for construction of the new facility, Dr. Ralph Richardson, dean of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, told

“This is a once in a multi-generational opportunity specifically for Kansas State University and the College of Veterinary Medicine,” Richardson told “To my knowledge, there has never been in the United States a federal laboratory of the level of NBAF co-located with a university that has an agricultural college, veterinary college, a division of biology and people interested in animal diseases.”

Richardson said that, when all is said and done, NBAF will bring around 300 scientists and highly-trained technicians to the area.

“It is the fastest growing graduate program I have ever experienced,” Richardson told

Crews have begun site clearing and the removal of old buildings. Water and sewer lines have also been placed and construction on the facility itself is set for this fall.