Kennedy Space Center breaks ground on new headquarters
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Times are changing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), and so is the landscape. Yesterday, officials broke ground on what will be the center’s new headquarters. In an effort to reduce costs, and be more eco-friendly, KSC’s new central campus will feature an energy-efficient, “green” headquarters.
The center’s 144,000 acres is adorned with nearly 700 facilities, most of which originate from the 1960’s and require a surplus of money and energy to operate. Over the coming years, the role of these facilities will be determined and a total of 900,000 square feet of building space will be removed, and 450,000 square feet will be added. The cornerstone of KSC’s transformation will be the center’s 200,000 sq. ft., $65 million headquarters. The new construction will have a mix of nostalgia and new technology, while saving an estimated $40 million over the next 40 years.
“The facilities we have now, need to be upgraded. It’s just too costly to maintain. This is setting the stage for the future. I think it shows the strength of the Kennedy Space Center, and is one more positive sign of KSC’s transformation into the spaceport of the future,” said Kennedy Space Center Director and former space shuttle astronaut Robert Cabana.
He went on to say, “We need facilities that will meet the needs of the future. This will be great office space for the team that will take us to Mars.”
“As we demolish our facilities, most of the materials will be recycled and used for other construction projects here. Our goal is to renovate the area, make it more campus-like, and easier for employees to collaborate and work together,” said KSC’s Facilities Director Nancy Bray.
Construction on the headquarters is set to begin in the next few weeks and is expected to be complete by 2016. Henzel Phelps and Hunton Brady are the contractors that will be handling the new construction. Both have a history with NASA and have said that at least 20 percent of all sub-contracting work will go to small businesses and 70 percent of the work will be going to local subcontractors.
“We are looking forward to working on this new building. 15 years ago Henzel Phelps completed its first project for NASA. We are going to continue to maintain our stellar work and safety record while we complete the new headquarters,” Kirk Hazen, Henzel Phelps district manager stated.
“I’d also like to thank all of the subcontractors out there. If it weren’t for you, we would not have been able to secure this contract. The government would like at least 20 percent of the work to go to small business, and we can guarantee at least 10 percent over that, with most of it going to businesses here in the local community.”
Steve Bellflower of Hunton Brady told the audience “Some of my favorite childhood memories were going to KSC to see the Apollo launches and camping out in the car with my father so we could get the best spot for the early shuttle launches. KSC is a special and magical place, and I am proud my company gets to be a part of its future. I’m as excited about this building as I was about those launches.”
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