Applied Physics Lab Breaks Ground for Largest
Participating in the
groundbreaking activities for APL's newest building are
Mary Kay Sigaty, Howard County Council; Rich Roca, APL
director; Ken Ulman, Howard County executive; Calvin Ball,
Howard County Council; and Ken Jones, APL building
Photo by Applied Physics
By Helen Worth
Applied Physics Laboratory welcomed Howard County
officials and representatives from the construction
industry on March 9 to break ground for what will be the
largest of the Laboratory's more than 50 major
"We're not just breaking ground for a new building,"
Ruth Nimmo, APL's assistant director for operations, told a
group of about 50 guests. "We're creating a place where new
technology will bloom, where commands will be sent to
spacecraft billions of miles away and where strategic
thinkers will plan military scenarios to keep our nation
APL Director Rich Roca thanked those in the public
sector who have supported the Laboratory's efforts over the
decades and noted the Lab's strong partnership with Howard
County. The facility upgrades at APL come at an important
juncture for Lab staff, he said. "The people who will
occupy this building are working in a challenging time in
our country's history. This will help them as they meet the
sobering challenges our country faces."
Joining in the groundbreaking festivities was Howard
County Executive Ken Ulman, who said, "The work that APL
does is a truly important part of our nation." He pledged
that Howard County will continue to work closely with the
Laboratory — Howard County's largest private
employer, with approximately 4,000 employees —
adding, "Johns Hopkins is such a major player in this
county — in the business community, in education and
in technology transfer."
Set to open in 2009, the $62 million, five-story,
261,600-square-foot building will be a steel frame and
concrete structure with stone, brick and glass exterior. It
will house approximately 500 existing staff members drawn
from seven departments. The building will be located
centrally on the nearly 400-acre campus and will replace
many obsolete facilities in older buildings.
Among the facilities planned are updated research
laboratories; a mission operations center, where up to
three space exploration missions can be commanded at once;
and modeling-and-simulation facilities, where the Navy's
next-generation missile combat systems can be developed.
The building also will accommodate other areas of research,
such as information management development and combat
casualty care communications, and mail services will take
up more modern, centrally located quarters with enhanced
security and efficiency.
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