One of the last steel beams was secured in place Thursday, March 3, 2022, to complete framing of the 700,000-square-foot main office building that is the centerpiece of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) new Next NGA West (N2W) campus under construction in North St. Louis.
The beam is part of the approximately 5,000 tons of steel used to support the building, which is more than 40 percent complete. All the steel was fabricated in the United States and erected by local St. Louis workers.
“I’d like to congratulate the team in St. Louis and across the Kansas City District for their hard work and dedication to delivering the program so far. We could not have reached this milestone without the strong partnership of the NGA, McCarthy HITT, and all the subcontractors who have contributed to the N2W project. We look forward to continue delivering our commitments, regardless of challenges, to this program which is so important to both the St. Louis region and the Kansas City District,“ said Colonel Travis J. Rayfield, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)-Kansas City District.
USACE is responsible for managing the design, construction, and delivery of the new facility, which is being built by the McCarthy HITT joint venture with oversight by the NGA and U.S. Air Force. Next NGA West is the largest one-time federal investment project in the Kansas City District and the City of St. Louis history.
“All of us can deservedly take a great deal of pride in what this last steel beam represents in the progress we’ve made with this historic construction project”, said Susan Pollmann, NGA N2W program director. “The beam placement is an important milestone marker for NGA and the St. Louis region. It reinforces our shared dedication to achieve the vision of what Next NGA West represents to all stakeholders — NGA, the intelligence community and the vibrant geospatial ecosystem taking shape in metro St. Louis. On behalf of our director, VADM Robert Sharp, and the entire NGA enterprise, we celebrate and are grateful to the many construction professionals, tradesmen and tradeswomen who continue to work tirelessly to bring N2W to fruition.”
“The topping out marks an important milestone for this project which broke ground in November 2019 but actually has been in the works for the past five years since NGA chose this location,” said Jeffery Boyer, , Vice President of Operations for McCarthy HITT. “Thousands of people have dedicated countless hours and a lot of hard work to get to this stage of construction. I’d like to specifically thank our ironworkers today for a job done well and a job done safely.”
The new $1.7 billion campus, being built on a 97-acre site in the St. Louis Place neighborhood at Jefferson and Cass Avenues, will replace the current NGA facility located south of downtown in a century’s old building. In addition to the main operations building, the new campus includes two parking garages, a visitor control center, remote inspection facility and a central utility plant.
The next phase of construction will focus on the enclosure of the main operations building. Construction is expected to be complete in 2024 and the campus will be operational in 2025.
NGA has had a significant presence in St. Louis for seven decades and currently employs more than 3,000 local employees. The decision to build at a new location in St. Louis was announced in June 2016. It is the largest federal investment in St. Louis history.
Benefits of the new campus are expected to include environmental, cost and policy advantages; expanded partnerships with universities and innovative, technology-based companies; an enhanced ability to recruit new employees; and proximity to NGA’s data facilities and current and future workforce.
Led by St. Louis-based McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., the McCarthy HITT team is responsible for supporting the mission critical needs of USACE and the NGA. McCarthy HITT is a joint venture of the nation’s most capable design-build/operations and maintenance firms. The team includes HITT Contracting, Falls Church, Va.; Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp., Overland Park, Kan.; Gensler, San Francisco; and Akima, LLC, Herndon, Va. The Black & Veatch + Gensler Joint Venture serves as the Architect-Engineer of Record for the project.