Obama’s budget allots $300M for NBAF

Congress would need to approve

By The Mercury

The last funding piece to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) puzzle is included in President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget.

The budget proposal released Tuesday includes $300 million to initiate construction in FY 15 on the NBAF main laboratory, which will be the nation’s lead research facility for large animal disease study.

Construction on the central utility plant began last summer, a process that will take an additional 18 months to complete, according to Kansas State president Kirk Schulz.

The $300 million for NBAF in the proposed FY15 budget comes after $404 million for the project was included in the $1.012 trillion spending bill passed by Congress in January.

Congress would also need to approve Obama’s newest proposal.

Overall, the project is estimated to cost $1.25 billion, which includes contributions by the state ($307 million) and the city ($5 million) with the federal government funding the rest.

Schulz said in a letter to the campus last week that the focus now moves to how the positive impacts of NBAF for the Manhattan region can be enhanced.

He said existing assets that help the cause include the USDA Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, the Grain Science and Industry north complex, the Biosecurity Research Institute and the new Kansas Department of Agriculture building, which will become active when the department moves from its Topeka headquarters in July.

“When these entities are joined with a creative and dynamic faculty, a highly experienced staff and a diverse student population, we have a tremendous set of tools to help ensure that NBAF is a force multiplier for economic growth,” Schulz said.

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