Animal Labs Will Grow With $14.5 Million Grant

UNC has been awarded $14.5 million in federal stimulus funds from the National Institutes of Health to build 30,000 square feet of new buildings at its Bingham Facility, an animal research site in the rural southwestern corner of Orange County.

The University studies hemophilia and muscular dystrophy at Bingham, which dates to the 1970s. The grant, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides funding to build two buildings, expected to be completed by 2013, to house animals and support the infrastructure of the facility.

In addition, the University will fund and construct a building to house veterinary services, laboratories and offices. This work will take place alongside the construction sponsored by the federal government.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported in March that Bingham has had problems in its wastewater treatment systems, including four spills of treated wastewater. A leak into Collins Creek has the state Division of Water Quality considering a fine on the University, the newspaper reported.

UNC researchers and administrators met recently with residents of the area to explain the expansion plans. Bingham Township residents had been asking for information since last summer, The N&O said.

The new funding ensures that the facility can continue to grow to meet research needs now and in the future, University officials said. The plan calls for the facility to span 103,000 square feet in several buildings clustered together on the 57-acre site.

Since March 2009, not including this award, UNC researchers have received nearly $110 million in ARRA grants or awards.

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