The Kansas federal congressional delegation and the Governor of Kansas announced Feb. 22 the Department of Homeland Security awarded the contract for construction of the Central Utilities Plant (CUP), a critical step forward in construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas.
The action by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awards $40 million in Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations to be spent on construction of the CUP without further delay. The CUP will be a free standing 87,000 sq. ft. building built on the NBAF site on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan. Construction of the CUP is expected to be completed in two and a half years.
The decision for a facility in Kansas has been controversial because of its proximity, risk assessment and soaring costs. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said the contract confirms DHS' commitment to moving forward with the construction of the laboratory itself.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R., Kan.) said the step moves the process further down the construction timeline and he will work to sure "NBAF remains a top national security priority."
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R., Kan.) said, “The contract approval by DHS is further evidence that even while our nation looks for significant budget savings, we can still find funds for mission critical projects, such as those to be undertaken at the NBAF. This facility is key to the fundamental responsibility of the federal government to protect its citizens, and I am committed to continuing to do everything I can to help move this project forward.”