The U.S. Department of Agriculture broke ground in November of 2017 on a $160 million renovation and expansion of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens, Ga. The secure facility will provide biocontainment laboratories to support the detection, diagnosis, and prevention of diseases such as pathogenic avian influenza. Completion is expected by 2020. Merrick & Company developed the Program of Requirements (POR) for the project, which could add approximately 100,000 sf to the 60-year-old campus. SEPRL is owned and operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).