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Roberts pushes for $451M Kansas lab

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts appeared before that state's legislature to back a plan that would allow construction of a new 500,000 square foot research facility to act as a replacement for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility'

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Kansas Senator Pat Roberts appeared before that state's legislature to back a plan that would allow construction of a new 500,000 square foot research facility to act as a replacement for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility's Plum Island, N.Y. lab.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is looking to replace the Plum Island facility, and if successful the Kansas bid would be the state's leading biosecurity research lab.

The $451 million, 500,000 square foot facility is expected to bring 500 high-paying federal jobs, and add $3.5 billion to the Kansas economy. Construction of the lab is expected to take as long as five years and create as many as 1,500 jobs.

Department of Homeland Security officials will visit potential sites - 12 other states are among those being considered - and name its finalists this summer.

A final decision is expected by the fall of 2008.