Kansas University appears to be winning the race for getting a major research facility completed by the end of the year.
Getting the Multidisciplinary Research Building done by Dec. 15, which is the plan, could mean several million extra federal dollars a year for KU.
"We're on schedule and on budget," said Warren Corman, university architect.
The $40 million project, funded by grants to the KU Center for Research, should be enclosed by the end of July and ready for installation of research equipment by late August, said George Wilson, associate vice provost for research.
That's a fast track for a project that had ground broken in October. A project of that size usually would take about two years to complete.
KU next year will renegotiate the amount of money it receives for facilities and administration on federal grants. The university currently receives an additional 44.5 percent on its federal research grants for infrastructure needs.
Because the formula involves how much KU invests in research facilities, having the $40 million building done could mean 2 percentage points difference - and that could mean several million dollars a year.
The 106,000-square-foot building, near the Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories, will have labs along two hallways with offices congregated at the end of the building. The design is meant to foster collaboration for researchers in disciplines such as geology, engineering, biology, pharmacy and chemistry.
"We're on a mission to not only add research space, but to get it done by Dec. 15 to improve our rate," Wilson said.