Stakeholders Gather to Sign Final Steel Beam for New Facility
May 04, 2010
A group of stakeholders in the construction of the new Vehicle Technology Directorate facility met on April 15 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. for an informal signing of the building's final steel beam.
The facility's purpose will be to research, develop, test, and evaluate across multiple disciplines including propulsion, structure, aeroelasticity and autonomous control of air and ground vehicle systems. It is located behind the Rodman Laboratory and is expected to be completed by May 2011.
Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers and contractor Walbridge Aldinger attended the ceremony. ARL's Mark Nixon, director of VTD, and Gary Klann, Base Realignment and Closure facility lead, were also present to discuss the progress of the VTD facility.
Michael Cygan, project manager for Walbridge, the primary contractor, estimates that one-third of the project is already complete, and it is scheduled to be finished by the deadline. The steel portion of construction began in January.
"We had some challenges to overcome with the snow this past winter, but we are moving forward and have overcome any challenges from the bad weather," Cygan said. "We are working hard with the subcontractors to ensure that our work is nothing short of high quality."
When VTD employees relocate from NASA-Glenn and NASA-Langley, they will have new and improved opportunities with their new facility, said VTD Director Dr. Mark Nixon.
"The site at APG will have customized, unmanned systems," he said. "We will have a better utilization of space without having to worry about making use of other facilities. This allows scientists to leave long-term experiments in the lab and not have to worry about time constraints."
According to Nixon, the new building will greatly benefit the directorate's mission. New specialized equipment will be brought in and the overall way scientists are able to approach their projects will be improved.
"Overall, this new facility will enable us to form research that allows us to be more continuous in our efforts," said Nixon. "While we will still have some reach back capability, this is a cost-saving effort in both facility utilization and personnel time."