$499M contract will renovate Intelligence Community Campus in Bethesda -- Gazette.Net


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The contract will be awarded to the Baltimore firm in pieces, said Ashley Williams, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Baltimore. The first installment is a $65 million job that will demolish two buildings and connect the remaining three at 4600 Sangamore Road. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 2013 and end in winter of 2015.

She said the outstanding portion of the contract will be awarded as money is appropriated by Congress, she said.

“It may not add up to that much,” she said. “That is just the capacity of the contact.”

The project is part of phase II construction, which also includes renovation of the remaining buildings and upgrades to the facade, she said. Construction is projected to be complete in the winter of 2017.

Phase I construction of a parking garage and visitor control point began last spring will continue until summer 2013. The $34 million job was awarded to Clark Construction Group, headquartered in Bethesda.

The Intelligence campus will be renovated as part of the 2005 federally mandated Base Realignment and Closure, which moved thousands of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employees from Bethesda to Fort Belvoir, Va, which left room for additional employees in Bethesda.

The campus will host 3,000 employees by 2017, including the National Intelligence University, additional personnel from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), administrative personnel from the Defense Intelligence Agency, and select personnel from the National Media Exploitation Center, an agency that analyzes collective intelligence, such as documents.

Public transportation options include a shuttle that runs between campus and the Friendship Heights Metro station. There also will be 500 to 600 feet on campus for vehicles to line up before going through security, rather than backing up on Sangamore Road.

The campus, which was built before today’s more stringent wastewater laws, is uphill from the Potomac River. But stormwater flows untreated into C&O Canal National Historical Park. The renovation will also upgrade the stormwater treatment system and decrease concrete on campus by 43 percent, which will allow the site to retain more stormwater.

Some trees in the Palisades, an area along the Potomac River characterized by wooded bluffs and slopes, will be cut to make way for a the parking garage. Up to .45 acres might be cleared during construction, but only .2 acres to .3 acres are trees, James Manzelmann, an executive agent for DNI, previously said.

The parking garage will be no taller than the tallest building on campus and occupy most of the parking lot that is closest to the C&O Canal, Manzelmann said. The top three levels will be visible from MacArthur Boulevard during the winter, but Manzelmann does not think it will be visible from the Potomac River, classified by Maryland as a Wild and Scenic River and thus protected.

For more information and monthly construction updates, go to www.nab.usace.army.mil and click on Intelligence Community Campus - Bethesda at the bottom of the page.

jablamsky@gazette.net