OLATHE, Kansas – Kansas State University plans to have a grand opening celebration for its new K-State Olathe campus April 26, 2011. K-State Olathe will bring together the university's expertise in animal health and food safety and security.

The first building is the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute, a $28-million, 108,000-sq.-ft. facility that will house research, education and commercialization programs in its laboratories and classrooms.

"This is an important step for K-State, for Kansans and for the citizens of Johnson County," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. "K-State Olathe brings the university's established expertise in animal health and food safety to students and industry in the Kansas City area, so we can collaborate with businesses in those disciplines and prepare the work force."

Students working on master's and doctoral degrees in animal health, food safety and security and related areas will work alongside scientists involved in the latest research.

The institute is financed by a portion of a one-eighth cent sales tax approved by Johnson County voters in November 2008.

K-State Olathe is part of the Johnson County Education and Research Triangle initiative, a cooperative effort with the University of Kansas that involves KU's Edwards Campus and KU Medical Center.

"We are extremely grateful to the citizens of Johnson County, the city of Olathe, faculty and staff at K-State's Manhattan and Salina campuses and all Kansans who have supported this key link between K-State and the Greater Kansas City area," said Dan Richardson, K-State Olathe CEO.