The Department of Homeland Security took a step toward breaking ground on a new bio-defense lab on K-State's campus.
The Department held a pre-proposal conference Tuesday.
DHS Labs Director Jaimie Johnson says the conference is a normal part of the process. He says DHS brings together all potential vendors who might be interested in bidding on the construction project to let them know what's involved in the project and the procedures for bidding.
More than 250 companies from across the country were represented. Jim McCoy, director of business development for Moline Concrete Products, traveled all the way from Land o'Lakes, Minn. He says anytime someone is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a project, people will drive quite a distance to hear about it because it's a very attractive opportunity.
Johnson says DHS plans to spend $700 million on the new lab, $550-$600 million of that on its construction. The National Bio and Agro Defense Facility will do research onto potential threats to the country's animal and food supply.