USDA dedicated a new, $85-million, high-containment, large-animal facility in Ames, IA, last month. The facility combines several research facilities into one location and is the second component of a multi-phase, $460-million project.

“High containment” means the building is designed for optimal safety and security because the scientists will work with a variety of endemic, zoonotic and foreign animal diseases in what is called Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL3) space.

A consolidated lab and a low-containment animal facility are still under construction. At its 2009 projected conclusion, the Ames complex will be one of the largest animal health centers in the world. It will have about 1 million sq. ft. of laboratory and research facilities, including the BSL3 space.