EAST LANSING (AP) — Michigan State University says it’s gotten key backing in the fight to retain federal financial support for a $600 million physics research center.

The East Lansing school won a national competition to host the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams in 2008, and design work is under way. But budget concerns have threatened funding for the coming fiscal year.

On Wednesday, the National Research Council issued a report saying “timely completion” of the project is a top U.S. science priority.

The Obama administration has recommended the project get $22 million in the coming budget. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water in April raised that to $30 million.

Backers say the project will create about 5,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs.

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