Kansas emerged Wednesday as the leading contender for a new $563 million federal biodefense lab also fiercely pursued by Texas, Georgia, North Carolina and other states.
Federal officials said that a Manhattan location was better than five other finalists and nearly 30 spots considered overall for the home of the new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, according to documents obtained by The Kansas City Star.
Research expertise at Kansas State University, particularly in its College of Veterinary Medicine and Biosecurity Research Institute, an available work force of scientists and state financial support topping $200 million helped push Kansas to the top.
Assuming Kansas is picked for the project, construction is expected to bring up to 1,600 temporary jobs with a payroll of about $183 million. When it opens, the lab complex will employ 250 to 350 and have a payroll up to $30 million annually.
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