MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Federal officials say progress on a national bio-defense lab in Manhattan is being delayed.

Officials said earlier this year the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would be substantially completed this month.

Federal officials now say the construction is expected to finish next spring, with the laboratory commissioned in the summer.

The Manhattan Mercury reports the Department of Homeland Security said technology upgrades and equipment installation are taking longer than expected.

Once it’s completed, researchers at NBAF will study diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.

Kansas won the job in 2009 to become the new home for the U.S. Department of Agriculture research building, sitting right in our backyard next to Kansas State University. The location is really convenient to help accomplish one of NBAF’s goals.