(*Correction: We previously reported that this facility will be the only Biosafety Level 3 lab in Kentucky, but it will be the second. The Center for Predictive Medicine (CPM) Reaesarch Facility at the University of Louisville also has Level 3 capabilities)
Murray State University's Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville was built in 1968, with a substantial addition in 1982. A facility to replace it has been a talking point with the Council on Post Secondary Education and the Kentucky General Assembly for years. This year, the Kentucky legislature provided funding for the new 53,000 square foot facility. Kate Lochte speaks with Dr. Wade Northington about its construction on Sounds Good.
The new facility will be the second Biological Safety Level 3 laboratory suite in Kentucky. Built to 21 Century, state of the art laboratory design, the facility will be equipped to handle a higher level of bio safety and bio security: hermetically sealed off, airflow filtered. When a challenge is faced from disease causing organism, a higher level of biological safety is needed in order to handle specimens. This will not include handling major issues like the Ebola virus, which would be at a Level 4 facility (CDC and a few other locations in the United States).
The mission of the Breahtitt Veterinary Center will remain the same: animal disease diagnostic testing. But the new facility will enhance the ability to provide research opportunities for university students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and partnerships with other state agencies like public health and safety and the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
They are working towards a 2016 completion.
Dr. Wade Northington, long time director of the Breathitt Veterinary Center, has moved into a new position as Program Director. He'll oversee the early stages of planning and construction of the new BVC facility. Dr. Debbie Reed, Case Coordinator for the past eight years is the interim director. The new Breahtitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville is an approximately $32.4 million dollar investment.