NBAF Running Behind Schedule

Federal officials said earlier this year that the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan would be substantially completed by October.

It’s going to be next year.

Officials now say that the construction is expected to finish in the spring of next year, with commission of the laboratory in the summer, The Manhattan Mercury reported.

The Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Agriculture are collaborating on opening the facility.

A Homeland Security official said technology upgrades and equipment installation is taking longer than expected.

Tim Barr, NBAF program manager for Homeland Security, said, “We are testing individual systems and testing again as systems are integrated with other systems, so it is very difficult to predict how long it will take to ensure each system is working as intended given the complexities of the facility.”

Once completed, researchers at the facility will study diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.

The USDA began managing operations and maintenance in the facility in early October.