Boxes are everywhere, televisions and audio visual equipment is still being installed and a lot of organizing remains to be done, but the new Kansas Wheat Innovation Center is coming together.
Offices for Kansas Wheat, the Wheat Alliance, Heartland Plant Innovations, and the Foundation for Ag in the Classroom are located in 10,000 square feet of office space on the ground level of the new building, which sits adjacent to the International Grains Program's center on the campus of Kansas State University.
The lower level offers 15,000 square feet of space for Heartland Plant Innovation's laboratories. Some of the space will be used immediately for HPI's doubled haploid labs, which have been operating out of Throckmorton Hall on the K-State campus. Some of the space will be left unfinished for future expansion of the research mission of HPI.
Attached to the back of the building is a four-section greenhouse with state-of-the-art capabilities, including one air conditioned compartment that will enable researchers to grow wheat all year around.
The $7.5 million facility was built with $4.5 million in cash reserves from the Kansas Wheat Association, supplemented by a $3-million 10-year mortgage. Money is still being raised to fund an endowment that will provide a permanent source of funds for research.