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From: TSS (216-119-143-165.ipset23.wt.net)
Subject: Big bubble protects work on animal disease research site
Date: December 7, 2004 at 8:58 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Big bubble protects work on animal disease research site
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 08:27:15 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@LISTSERV.KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Economy

Big bubble protects work on animal disease research site


An intriguing sight north of Ames

By JERRY PERKINS

REGISTER FARM EDITOR
December 7, 2004

Ames, Ia. - To motorists on nearby Interstate Highway 35, the huge white
bubble on the grounds of the National Animal Disease Center here looks
like a pillow for the Jolly Green Giant.

The air-supported structure is as tall as a 12-story building and 11/2
football fields in length.

It was built to shelter a work area, where concrete can be poured and
cured during cold weather for a new high-containment, large-animal
research building. When finished, the facility will have elaborate
systems to purify air and contain infectious diseases in cattle or other
animals brought in for treatment or analysis.

The construction shelter, which was erected last month, is one of the
largest air-supported structures in the world, said Mike Ragen , senior
vice president of U.S. sales for the Farley Group in its Grand Blanc ,
Mich., office. The shelter is 450 feet long, 250 feet wide and 125 feet
high.

The Farley Group, which is headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, erected the
big bubble for the project's general contractor, McCarthy Building Cos .
of St. Louis.

Putting the big pillow in place was "a delicate process" that took two
weeks, Ragen said. It had to be erected over an existing building and
lots of steel reinforcing bars sticking out of the ground.

A typical installation of an air-supported structure costs about
$60,000, Ragen said. "There was so much involved, I wouldn't hazard a
guess" as to the cost of the Ames bubble, he said. "We sent our very
best workers out there to put it up."

Farley makes the bubbles out of coated polyvinyl chloride with a woven
polyester substrate attached to cables that keep the fabric in place.
Air pressure from fans and two furnaces keep the Ames bubble inflated.

Some of Farley's bubbles, like the one in Ames, are temporary shelters
that are deflated and removed after the project is done. The company
also makes permanent bubbles that cover athletic fields.

Company founder Ralph Farley, an avid tennis player, wanted to put a
cover over a tennis court so he could play year-round. He first saw the
air-supported structures in Sweden and began importing them to North
America.

Farley now makes the structures for covering construction sites, tennis
courts and soccer fields, and for other recreation purposes, Ragen said.

Keith Murray, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National
Animal Disease Center, said the facility being built under the bubble is
just one part of a modernization project at the Ames site.

The $178 million project will include several buildings with a total of
1 million square feet and renovation of other facilities. Work is
scheduled to conclude in 2007.

"This is the largest single facility the USDA has ever built," Murray
said. Eventually, 800 employees will work there, he said.

Work on the animal health center, on 480 acres north of Ames and west of
I-35, is more important than ever because of the diagnosis last year of
a case of mad cow disease in Washington state.

"We're under a phenomenal threat here in the U.S. to respond to animal
diseases," Murray said. "We trade internationally in animals, and that
trade is based on animal health being underpinned by science."

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041207/BUSINESS04/412070381/1029

TSS

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