No Bio-Lab for Columbia
Dr. George Stewart, the chairman of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at MU, says Columbia was withdrawn from consideration today. A representative from Homeland Security called Stewart around 10 in the morning to tell him Columbia was removed from the list.
After the Department of Homeland Security announced its list, MU Vice Chancellor of Research Jim Coleman released a statement saying the following:
"We're disappointed that we are no longer being considered for the facility. It is vital for us, as the major public research university for the state, to seek these kind of opportunities. We appreciate the engagement of our community as the merits of this project were discussed and debated. This kind of discourse is important as MU researchers continue to seek new ways to improve the health and quality of life for all Missourians and U.S. Citizens.
The site was proposed on New Haven Road, east of Highway 63. The proposed lab would have studied infectious diseases and biological weapons.
Some faculty at the University of Missouri are disappointed about the council's decision. They say the lab would have provided more research opportunities.
But people who live in the surrounding areas are thrilled, saying the disease lab would have been too close for comfort.
Columbia was one of 17 possible locations for the lab. According to the Kansas City Star, the remaining facility sites include Manhattan, Kansas and other towns in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Georgia.
The final site announcement should be made in Fall of 2008.