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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Builds National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Under Budget

News Release: S&T Builds National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Under Budget, Returns Gift Funds to State of Kansas

Release Date: June 20, 2024

S&T Public Affairs, 202-286-9047

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that it completed and commissioned the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas under budget and has returned $10,082,355.80 in gift funds to the state of Kansas. The $1.25 billion facility was funded through a unique shared investment involving the federal government, Kansas and the city of Manhattan.

“The state of Kansas was key in paving the way for the facility’s construction and securing the necessary funding,” said Tim Barr, DHS NBAF program manager. “I am delighted we were able to complete this crucial project and were able to save money in the process.”

In 2009, after a three-year site selection process led by DHS, Manhattan emerged as the chosen location to build NBAF out of 29 initial alternatives. As part of their successful bid, the state of Kansas and the city of Manhattan pledged financial support for the project. The state contributed a total of $307 million, and the city of Manhattan provided an additional $5 million, with a stipulation that any surplus state funds would be returned. 

S&T led the NBAF construction and commissioning project, which concluded in December 2022. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its opening took place in May 2023. The facility’s construction and commissioning efforts spanned 17 years from initial idea to final completion, facing significant technical and managerial challenges, including disruptions to the construction schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, S&T was able to deliver the building under budget, saving the state of Kansas just over $10 million.

NBAF is the first U.S. laboratory with biosafety level 4 containment specially designed to house large livestock animals, making it one of the few facilities worldwide with this capability. In 2019, federal legislation directed the transition of ownership and operation of the NBAF from DHS to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). DHS retained the responsibility for finishing the construction and commissioning the facility. Ultimately, the USDA will relocate its mission currently conducted at DHS’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) in New York, to the NBAF in Kansas.

For more information about S&T’s construction of NBAF and its ongoing food and agriculture defense mission, please visit Food and Agriculture Defense.


Last Updated: 06/20/2024
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