MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A governor, a senator, and two Cabinet members were all on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of what will be the United States' most secure plant and animal research building.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) is expected to create up to 500 high-paying, scientific, federal jobs for the Manhattan region. Around The 500,000 sq. foot building will create up to 1,500 jobs for construction workers.
"NBAF is for Kansas," said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). "We fought for it and earned it on the merits. NBAF is the realization of all that hope for Kansas: opportunity and preservation of our beloved rural way of life for our children and our grandchildrem.
Roberts was joined for the groundbreaking by Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) as well as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
"Kansas, this area will be at the top, will be at the pinnacle of animal health research and zoonotic research in the world," said Gov. Brownback. "This will be the place. This will be that place you’re going to want to come if you’ve got research in those areas. If you have the toughest problems they will be dealt with here, and we’re ready for that task; we’re ready for this time."
Construction is slated to be complete in 2020, and the facility should be operational by 2022.