By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
Members of the media were treated Dec. 4 to a virtual briefing on Next NGA West, the mammoth construction project taking place in North St. Louis City that will be the future home of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s St. Louis workforce.
The $1.7 billion construction project is being managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and built by the McCarthy HITT Joint Venture. The NGA and the U.S. Air Force are providing oversight.
At last Friday’s briefing, McCarthy Building Companies VP of Operations Jeff Boyer said more than 775,000 cubic yards of soil have been moved since the project’s start on Nov. 26, 2019 through May 30, 2020. More than 5,700 tons of structural steel – equivalent to roughly 300 truckloads – have been ordered for the next phase of the project, which is expected to commence in Q2 2021.
“Over the past year, the project team has had a heavy focus on mass grading and utilities,” said Boyer. “In total, crews will install and bury 17 miles of utility piping to serve the building. Now our collective focus has shifted to footings, piers, grade beams and foundation walls. Construction of foundation walls and footings will continue for the next four to five months. By the time construction is complete, 96,000 cubic yards of concrete will have been poured. One year from now, what you’ll see at the site will be dramatically different that what you see today,” he added.
The 97-acre site is located in the historic St. Louis Place neighborhood at the intersection of Jefferson and Cass Avenues. When complete, the campus will include a 700,000-square-foot office building, two parking garages, a visitor center, a delivery inspection facility and secure entrance and exit points.
One unique characteristic of the NGA’s future St. Louis headquarters is an “open” facility that promotes collaboration with the private sector. A staff of more than 3,000 NGA professionals will make the move from their current St. Louis headquarters in Soulard to the new site in 2025.
McCarthy Building Companies Director of Diversity Monica Bailey said that although the team is still in the process of procuring work, the project is exceeding its 25 percent MBE and 5 percent WBE goals specific to on-site workforce.