Kan. To Break Ground on Biodefense Lab

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — After several years of political and fiscal wrangling, Kansas officials are preparing to formally break ground on a new federal biodefense lab in Manhattan.

Officials including Gov. Sam Brownback and leaders of Kansas State University will hold a ceremony Tuesday as ground is broken for the lab's utility plant.

It marks the start of construction on the $1.15 billion National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, scheduled to be operational by the end of the decade.

The lab will research dangerous animal diseases and ways of protecting the nation's food supply.

President Barack Obama has included $714 million in his proposed budget to complete construction of the lab. Brownback has asked Kansas legislators to approve an additional $202 million in bonding authority to complete the project.

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