From National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency:
‘Welcome to the neighborhood': NGA breaks ground on NGA facility in north St. Louis
By Jessica Daues, NGA Office of Corporate Communications
NGA broke ground Nov. 26 on its new campus in north St. Louis, which will be “a cutting-edge GEOINT facility nestled into one of the world’s most innovative and active geospatial communities,” said NGA Director Vice Admiral Robert Sharp at the ceremony.
Approximately 330 invited guests attended the groundbreaking, including Sharp, about 150 NGA employees, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, Sen. Roy Blunt, Rep. Lacy Clay, Rep. Adam Schiff, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite and many local north St. Louis residents.
“This groundbreaking is a testament to the thoughtful planning and hard work of so many,” Sharp said, from NGA’s team members to its neighbors in north St. Louis to its advocates across the nation. “We’re grateful to our partners across the region and Congress.”
Sharp said that the new facility, which is projected to be fully operational in 2025, will be purposely built to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration with the St. Louis area’s talented innovators, and that the enthusiasm for the development of the geospatial ecosystem in St. Louis has been “palpable.”
“NGA has been proud to call St. Louis home for the past 70 years,” Sharp said. “I’m excited to see what NGA’s people and partners in the St. Louis region can accomplish together -- today, tomorrow and for decades to come.”
Maguire said the intelligence community “could not be more excited” about N2W and its potential to expand opportunities to collaborate with those external to the IC. He said the new facility reflects the importance of “the world-class analysis NGA does.”
“N2W will enable amazing things to happen, but it will be the people of NGA who make it happen,” the acting DNI said. “People are our most vital resource, and this facility will give them the environment they need to succeed.
Krewson called the NGA campus a “transformative” project for the city that is “catalyzing the geospatial ecosystem.”
“We’ve all been waiting for this day,” she said. “On behalf of the City of St. Louis, let me say, welcome to the neighborhood.”
With the groundbreaking, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin managing the construction on behalf of NGA.
“We’ve assembled an expert team of proven builders that will turn blueprints into reality,” said Semonite. “This will be a world-class project you can be proud of for years to come.
“We’re looking forward to turning dirt and raising steel,” Semonite said.
The new NGA facility will include approximately 712,000 square feet of office space, parking garages, a visitor’s center, an inspection facility and control access points. Plans are for the facility to include wireless technologies and for the facility to be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Silver standards for environmental sustainability.
Preparations for the new facility have been ongoing with NGA’s partners since NGA announced its selection of north St. Louis as the site in 2016. The City of St. Louis officially transferred the 97 acres of land for the new NGA campus to the U.S. Air Force in December 2018. St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies and Falls Church, Virginia-based HITT Contracting were selected as the design-build team leading the construction in March 2019.
More comments from the ceremony:
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson: “We are committed to doing all we can do to skill up our workforce, support the geospatial industry and help NGA fulfill its mission in our state. We have some of the most hardworking, talented people in the nation here in Missouri.”
Sen. Roy Blunt: The impact of the employees that come to the N2W facility every day “will reverberate throughout the economy. We’ll see all the service facilities that respond to that – grocery stores, service stations, dry cleaners, child-care facilities – there are many jobs beyond the NGA jobs that will occur right here. ... This is a great day for St. Louis, a great day for jobs and a great day for this community.”
Rep. Lacy Clay: “I want to thank residents of this historic neighborhood, some of who have remained for generations praying for a resurgence from blight and neglect. You never gave in, never gave up, never lost hope. Today your prayers have been answered. … I want to recognize and thank the patriotic families and small businesses that relocated to make this project possible. You made a major sacrifice. … This project provides a beacon of hope because it presents a transformative opportunity.”
Rep. Adam Schiff: “Once completed, N2W will have the tools that will allow it to be a hub of innovation. NGA will demonstrate that a more open, collaborative environment is the future of intelligence.”
N2W Program Manager Susan Pollmann: “This project has become the story of bringing people together to make NGA’s vision a reality: the vision of a new NGA, a new space, new tools that will make NGA more agile, more responsive to national security threats, of a revitalized neighborhood whose young people will be part of our future. … Let’s get some shovels in the ground and get this show on the road!”
Approved for public release, 20-161