The Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research (PAAR) facility is a highly secure biocontainment building. It is required by federal law for conducting research with organisms that cause diseases in animals classified at biosafety level 3 (BSL-3 and/or BSL-3 Ag). It is also needed for working with plant diseases that could cause undue economic hardship on agriculture if released into the environment.
PAAR will be the only facility in Ohio and one of only two nationally with capacity for both plant and animal research at the BSL-3 and BSL-3 Ag safety levels. Another three facilities nationwide have the BSL-3 Ag safety level designation for animal-related research only. The Ohio State University operates several BSL-3 labs on its Columbus campus, but PAAR will be the first BSL-3 facility on the Wooster campus and the university’s first BSL-3 Ag facility.
PAAR will enhance OARDC’s nationally and internationally recognized research programs on infectious diseases of plants and animals — further contributing to the viability of Ohio’s $90-plus billion agricultural sector, the state’s largest industry. The facility will allow Ohio to proactively develop new diagnostic tools, treatments, vaccines, and genetically resistant animals and plants to reduce economic losses from diseases and pests. It will enhance OARDC’s ability to attract highly competitive faculty and grants to the state.
- 27,537 gross square feet and 23,000 assignable square feet.
- Two BSL-3 enhanced laboratories and four BSL-3 Ag animal isolation rooms that can handle large animals, such as cows and pigs.
- Office, lockers and change facility, decontamination areas, wash areas to clean cages, and a necropsy area for sample collection.
- Specialized equipment to work with microorganisms in laboratory settings.
- Special airtight construction.
- Outgoing air is filtered through High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that trap microorganisms and prevent escape into other sections of the facility and the surrounding environment.
- Complies with all federal guidelines governing BSL-3 and BSL-3 Ag labs.