A ground-breaking ceremony today at Kansas State University's Olathe campus marks the university's commitment to advancing animal health and food safety research and education in Kansas and the nation.
"K-State is the land-grant institution for the state of Kansas and if you look back at the history of land-grant institutions, they were founded to meet the needs of the states in which they serve," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. "We have a special mission and role to play as we look toward the future of the state of Kansas, particularly when it comes to biotechnology and science."
The first building on K-State's Olathe campus will be the $28 million National Institute for Animal Health and Food Safety. It will house educational and laboratory spaces to support research, education and technology commercialization in animal health and food safety. The approximately 108,000 square foot building is being designed and built by 360 Architecture and the Weitz Company, and should be complete by late 2010 or early 2011.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Dan Richardson, chief executive officer of K-State's Olathe campus, thanked several partners who have helped make the campus a reality. The partners include the city of Olathe, which provided the land for the campus, and the taxpayers of Johnson County, who approved a one-eighth cent sales tax to support the Olathe campus and other projects as part of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle.
"We know the expectations here and we will return on that investment," Richardson said.
K-State's Olathe campus is the academic research presence within the Kansas Bioscience Park. The campus provides a direct link to K-State's many resources while also giving K-State greater visibility and access to the heart of the Animal Health Corridor. Initially, the campus will focus on commercially viable applied research and technology discovery in animal health and food safety and security.The Kansas Bioscience Authority also will build a bioscience-focused accelerator and incubator facilities in the park designed to advance technology and attract life science start-ups that spin off research from K-State and elsewhere.