Defense Information System Agency to build 1.07 million-s.f. building in Maryland

When approximately 4,000 Defense Information System Agency employees move to Fort George G. Meade, they will work in facility with floor space that equals 23 acres.

The first construction contract for Fort Meade related to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process has been awarded, and work is set to begin in mid-April.

The Army Corps of Engineers gave the $370 million contract to Hensel-Phelps Construction Co. to build DISA's new home at the fort. Work on the 1.07 million square-foot, multiple-building facility is scheduled to begin next month and will take three years to complete.

The building will meet LEED Silver Status by the U.S. Green Building Council. It's a designation for environmentally friendly developments, said David Ruderman, a spokesman for the corps.

BRAC is a nationwide consolidation of military bases, and this process will transfer 5,700 jobs to Fort Meade by 2011. Most, around 4,000, will come from DISA, the military's version of America Online, AT&T Co. and Google.

Others will come from the Department of Defense Media Activities and adjudication services. Contracts for building facilities for these two organizations likely will be awarded in January 2009, Mr. Ruderman said.

Additional private-sector jobs are expected at privately developed offices on fort-owned land, as well as from nearby defense contractors.

The 95-acre development is being built partially on the fort's two 18-hole golf courses. The courses will be relocated just beyond the fort's barbed-wire fence on an old landfill.

This is part of a process that will put facilities with greater security needs within the confines of the fort, while moving less sensitive ones, like the golf courses, to the periphery, Mr. Ruderman said.

The project will include facilities specially designed to protect sensitive information, but due to security concerns the Corps of Engineers would not say how much or exactly where it will be located.

Hensel-Phelps is a national builder based in Chantilly, Va., and has an office in Linthicum, as well as other locations. It is currently working on The Baltimore Convention Center Hotel, a $235 million project; is renovating the Pentagon and has worked on parts of the Smithsonian, said Steve Speer, vice president of the company.

But this project is the first time that Hensel-Phelps will work at Fort Meade, he said.

Exact plans for the building have not been finalized, but the finished product will blend in with the post's existing Georgian architecture, with ample brick and preformed concrete facades, Mr. Speer said.

Besides Fort Meade, Hensel-Phelps is doing BRAC-related work around the country, including military installations in Colorado and Texas, Mr. Speer said.