Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
This is SunRain Plone Theme
You are here: Home / About Us / News / NBAF rep 'blown away' by Clay Center's assets

NBAF rep 'blown away' by Clay Center's assets

The man responsible for helping businesses seeking sites near the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan said he was “blown away” by the assets Clay Center has to attract bio-related companies. Following a tour of the city’s new RO water plant, Dr. Ron Trewyn, NBAF liaison with those businesses, spoke to the Economic Development Group in a special meeting held at CTI Wednesday.

Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2016 1:11 pm

The man responsible for helping businesses seeking sites near the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan said he was “blown away” by the assets Clay Center has to attract bio-related companies.

Following a tour of the city’s new RO water plant, Dr. Ron Trewyn, NBAF liaison with those businesses, spoke to the Economic Development Group in a special meeting held at CTI Wednesday.

Besides a tour of the RO plant, Trewyn was briefed on the town’s high speed fiber optic cable and electric generation and distribution system.

“I was truly, truly blown away by what you have up here,” Trewyn told the group. “I never expected to find that here. I was expecting something much, much less.”

Trewyn encouraged the group to provide him with graphics showing easily what the community has to offer and to put something on a website that is easily accessible and could be linked to his website.

“There are some capabilities here that clearly do not exist in Manhattan,” he said. “There are assets here I have truly not seen other places.”

Trewyn said his office has received hundreds of inquiries from companies looking to locate near NBAF.

“There are a lot of companies that will be producing biologics for these things. That would be a huge deal. And (Clay Center’s) not that far. It’s an easy drive. My administrative assistant, Susan Thomas, lives here,” he said.

“It’s very clear there’s not a lot of land available in and around Manhattan and there are going to be some of these entities that need to be a little further out and are going to need a little additional capabilities. That will be a difference maker,” he said.

Mayor Jimmy Thatcher told Trewyn the city also has shovel-ready land available as well.

“Above and beyond our internet services and our water and our reliable power, with the help of Mr. (Harley) Adams here, we have extended our sewer out a mile which allows us to say that we have land available that is absolutely shovel ready,” Thatcher said.

“We have water, electric on site, sewer on site and it is also runway accessible to our airport,” he said.

“There are assets here that I don’t think are replicated anywhere in Kansas,” Trewyn said. “These companies know how tough getting a lot of these things in place is. Sometimes they have to do it themselves. If all this is in place with that IT kind of thing...they just need to get a little bit of information and we’d be able to get them here.”

NBAF is expected to provide some 5,000 jobs in the area by 2035 with a payroll and operating budget of $450 million.

Construction of the laboratory was expected to be completed last year, but involvement by Congress stretched the time frame out and increased the project cost from $725 million to $1.25 billion to make the facility F5 tornado proof.

Trewyn, who has been working on the project ten years, said the project “came within an eyelash of collapsing twice.”

But with the laboratory operations expected to begin in 2023, interest by private companies in satellite facilities is picking up again.

“The level of interest by these companies is just starting to go through the roof,” Trewyn said.

In a second “NBAF summit” to be held in the near future, companies will bring in their global R&D leaders from all their sectors to look at opportunities in the area, he said.

The group also heard from Dr. Marty Vanier, DVM, who serves as liaison with communities in the region. Vanier outlined plans to hold regular ongoing discussions with representatives from area cities, counties and community organizations to keep the public apprised of progress.

Plans call for “transactional relationships” with community partners, a process that is “a few months” behind schedule.

Construction of the NBAF facility is slightly ahead of schedule, Vanier said in response to a question from the group.

Community of Distinction video

Community of Distinction still

 

 

 

Clay Center Video

Clay County Brochure

Clay County Kansas brochure