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Kansas NBAF project moves forward despite shutdown

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- Construction continues on a central utility plant for a new federal biosecurity research lab at Kansas State University despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Kansas State vice president for research Ron Trewyn said Thursday that work was progressing on the plant, which will provide utilities for the $1.25 billion National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility. He says contracts for the utility plant were released in previous federal budgets and not affected by the current shutdown.

Trewyn says funding for the main plant is on hold. But he expects Congress to act on the $404 million appropriation for the next fiscal year, which has already passed the House and a Senate budget committee.

The lab will research deadly animal and livestock diseases, replacing an aging facility at Plum Island, N.Y.