NGA St. Louis campus construction update: Buildings take shape, construction on-schedule

Posted on Aug 24, 2021

 Jessica Daues
 Office of Corporate Communications

The steel frames and concrete foundations of NGA’s new campus in north St. Louis are sprouting up from the ground as NGA’s new facility, on schedule to open in 2025, takes shape this summer.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no significant delays to construction, said Sue Pollmann, program director for the Next NGA West project and west executive for NGA. Construction is projected to be complete in 2024, with NGA move-in complete by 2025.

“It’s exciting to see the main operations building rise up out of the ground, which makes N2W feel more real,” Pollmann said. “I continue to be pleased with the teamwork I’m seeing amongst the leadership of the McCarthy-HITT, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and NGA engineers and project management.

“There are inevitably problems that come up, but everyone is doing a great job of working together to find solutions,” she said.

The steel erections for the campus’ structures are projected to be complete by November, at which time the construction focus will shift to the installation of building enclosures, or walls, for the main building, central utilities plant and parking garages. Some enclosure work is slated to begin as early as late August. Roof deck construction is scheduled to begin in late August as well, Guttmann said.

“Given the complexities on a project of this magnitude, coupled with the pandemic, we are in a good spot to deliver the facility in time for the deployment effort,” said USACE’s Program Manager Gene Morisani.

Heather Cirre, manager for small business contracting and outreach for McCarthy HITT joint venture, the project’s design-build team, said the project is tracking federal labor goals for worker participation of 6.9 percent women and 14.7 percent minorities per trade.

Currently, approximately 18.6 percent of workforce hours have been minority participation with 5.3 percent of workforce hours being female participation.

“The female participation goal presents a particular challenge, given the makeup of the construction industry, but overall we are pleased with our progress toward our goals and are committed to continuing to make significant efforts to meet and exceed them,” Cirre said.

Cirre said McCarthy HITT also has adopted a goal of 25 percent minority-owned business enterprise participation, which exceeds the federal goal. Numerous contracts have been awarded to minority-owned business enterprises for a wide range of products and services. More bids remain in-process and have not been finalized.

Community engagement and communication with the local and greater St. Louis communities remains a priority for the project, said Morisani.

The N2W team of USACE, McCarthy HITT and NGA regularly attend meetings of neighborhood organizations around the site to help inform the local community about construction activities and to answer questions about construction and NGA, said Morisani.

After a pause due to the pandemic, NGA and USACE restarted open house visits for the local community this past June. These visits allow neighbors to view the site from the observation tower and ask questions about the project and NGA’s mission to representatives. A construction hotline is available for people to call to voice concerns or ask questions, and the N2W team recently hosted a media day, so that local media could share progress at the site with the larger St. Louis community.

Community engagement and communication with the local and greater St. Louis communities remains a priority for the project, said Morisani.

The N2W team of USACE, McCarthy HITT and NGA regularly attend meetings of neighborhood organizations around the site to help inform the local community about construction activities and to answer questions about construction and NGA, said Morisani.

After a pause due to the pandemic, NGA and USACE restarted open house visits for the local community this past June. These visits allow neighbors to view the site from the observation tower and ask questions about the project and NGA’s mission to representatives. A construction hotline is available for people to call to voice concerns or ask questions, and the N2W team recently hosted a media day, so that local media could share progress at the site with the larger St. Louis community.

By the numbers:

97-acre site
5 cranes, 2 bulldozers , 2 excavators and many more trucks, lifts and skid-steers at work on-site
450 workers on-site daily this summer
5,000 tons of steel projected to be used to build the campus
1,500 cars will be able to park in each of the two parking garages
700,000 square feet in the main operations building
4 years until move-in

Original Article

Significant progress of new NGA West headquarters in north St. Louis

Posted on Jul 22, 2021

ST. LOUIS – There’s significant progress to report from St. Louis’s largest building site: the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) West headquarters. The project is heralded as the rebirth of north St. Louis.

For the first year and a half, we’d only seen 97 acres of dirt, fenced off for grading and site prep. Now, the $1.7 billion project is starting to look like something at Jefferson and Cass, north of Downtown St. Louis.

“It’s happening,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of McCarthy HITT, lead contractor for the project.

A FOX 2 camera caught new views from a tower on site. They include a first glimpse of the site’s highest point: the roof of the 700,000 square-foot headquarters building where more than 3,000 people for the secretive government agency will be going to work. A large parking garage is also starting to rise.

The number of construction workers has grown to 450. That will nearly triple by early-to-mid 2022 when interior work can begin.

When complete in 2024, about 6,000 tons of steel will have gone into the new NGA West, that’s more than 80% of what went into the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

It will be a vast improvement over the current headquarters in converted warehouses near the Mississippi River in south St. Louis.

“It’ll be newer and brighter. We’ll have windows. Just the little things, but I think everyone is looking forward to the mission benefits,” said Sue Pollmann, NGV West Executive. “Many of us are lifelong St. Louisans. So for us, this is kind of an added bonus to know that what we’re doing will not only help NGA, help our future, help our people who work in our space, but that it potentially will have such great benefit over here on the north side.”

There was still a long way to go, Boyer said.

“I would say what you’re seeing is about half the footprint of the total (headquarters) building,” he said. “We’re going upwards on half of it and then we’ll come back do the part here to the south, but I’d say (you’re only seeing) about half of it.”

NGA workers won’t move in until 2025. It will take about a year prior to that to transfer all of the intelligence and information from the old site to the new one, according to Pollman.

NGA gathers data from tracking and mapping “everything that happens on the face of the Earth,” according to the NGA motto. That information is used for everything from U.S. military applications to worldwide disaster relief.

Original Article

Foundations to be poured this winter for new NGA facility, construction on-schedule for 2025 move-in

Posted on Dec 9, 2020

Workers are laying foundations and footings for NGA’s new facility in north St. Louis as construction remains on schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sue Pollmann, NGA West executive and program director for the Next NGA West.

The building is slated to be completed in 2023, with IT installation in 2024 and a move-in date of 2025.

Below, view the recording from the December 4, 2020 virtual press conference with Col. William Hannan, Jr., Commander, Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Sue Pollmann, West Executive and Program Director, Next NGA West; Jeff Boyer, Vice President of Operations, McCarthy Building Companies; and Monica Bailey, Director of Diversity, McCarthy Building Companies.

Save the Date: Virtual Opportunity Fair for Small, Minority-Owned and Women-Owned Business

Posted on Jul 29, 2020

Download the presentation from this event here:

SB MBE WBE Fed Contracting N2W Update 08.27.2020

The Virtual Opportunity Fair is focused on informing potential bidders about design packages to be advertised in October. The virtual event will take place from 10 am until 11am on Thursday, August 27, 2020. Register here.

Note: this event is for companies only. It is NOT a job fair for individuals.

  • Site ImprovementsDocuments available Q4 2020
    • Permanent fence
    • Grass pavers
  • Core & Shell – Main Operations and CUP – Documents available September 2020
    • Reinforcing steel for elevated decks
    • Roofing
    • Metal panes & sheetmetal
    • Fireproofing
    • Specialty metals for trellis & monumental stair
  • Interiors – Main Operations and CUP – Documents available Q4 2020
    • General works
    • Interior glass
    • Masonry
    • Flooring & tile
    • Painting
    • Window treatments
    • Signage
    • Security equipment
  • Visitor Control Center – Documents available Q4 2020
    • Concrete
    • General works
    • Roofing
    • Curtainwall & windows
    • Painting
    • Flooring & tile
    • Metal panes & sheetmetal
    • Window treatments
    • Signage
    • Security equipment
    • HVAC
  • FF&E – (Future Packages – Q2 2021 through Q3 2021)

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency: “New NGA St. Louis campus construction continues, on schedule despite COVID-19 pandemic”

Posted on Jun 12, 2020

JESSICA DAUES, OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS – June 12, 2020

​Construction on NGA’s new campus in north St. Louis is progressing without significant delays despite the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sue Pollmann, program director for the Next NGA West. The building is slated to be completed in 2023, with IT installation in 2024 and a move-in date of 2025.

Pollmann said circumstances have helped keep facility construction on-track during the pandemic.

“We’re still in design, and the construction work right now is outdoors and not contained inside a building,” Pollmann said. Public health experts have said the threat of virus transmission is reduced outdoors.

Pollmann said both NGA employees and NGA’s partner organizations are taking precautions to avoid transmission of the virus.

Pollmann said that NGA has been maximizing telework opportunities to reduce the number of people working on-site in trailers, giving the people who are there “plenty of room to spread out.”

Col. William Hannan Jr., commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City District, said that the Corps of Engineers, which is managing the construction of NGA’s new campus on behalf of NGA, and its construction partners are taking “deliberate measures to keep our workforce safe and continue construction to the best of our ability in this environment.”

Jeff Boyer, vice president of operations for McCarthy Building Company, said COVID-19 is “on everyone’s mind.” McCarthy is part of the facility’s design-build team, along with HITT Contracting.

“We’ve had to make some changes on how we’ve worked,” he said. “The focus has been surrounding the safety and health of employees, subcontractors and the community. We’re following CDC and state and local health officials’ guidelines. There is additional sanitizing on-site, and we follow social distancing and use face masks and face covering when social distancing is not achievable.”

Boyer said that with the work being done currently, there is a low density of workers on-site, often using large machinery, and that social-distancing naturally occurs.

Michael Pranger, vice president of operations for Castle Contracting, which is performing the grading and utilities work, said that because the site work provides natural spacing, his team hasn’t seen an impact to their work. “We’re making sure we’re providing people the necessary PPE [personal protective equipment] to feel comfortable doing their job,” he said.

Boyer said work on the site the past few months has been primarily grading and mapping and installation of site utilities, such as water, electrical and sewers. Boyer said the team has moved approximately 850,000 cubic yards of dirt to prepare the site. “That’s enough to fill [St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball] Busch Stadium one and a half times over,” he said.

Boyer said work on the foundation is scheduled to begin in June.

Pollmann said that she’s very excited to be at a stage where progress will be visible.

“We can actually see the earth-moving going on at the site, the access control point is taking shape, soon there will be a formal gate where workers will enter and be screened,” she said. “It’s very exciting after years of defining requirements, contracting work and design, that we’re now at the point where people can literally see things happening.”

COVID-19 also has not delayed the hiring of contractors and subcontractors, said Boyer. He said that McCarthy-HITT is placing “a heavy emphasis on small businesses and minority- and women-owned businesses to help us meet goals for the project.”

The NGA campus’ construction goals are to include 25 percent minority-owned and 5 percent woman-owned businesses for subcontractor participation; and 15 percent minority and greater than 5 percent female for the individual workforce participation.

Hannan said that attracting a qualified workforce for the construction of the facility is imperative for the project. “That’s how they are successful,” he said.

He said the Corps of Engineers and its partners have hosted four construction job fairs in St. Louis to attract some of that workforce, and there will be plans for more. “As you continue to see those fairs, come on out, see what’s available,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity in our region.”

Original Article

St. Louis Business Journal: “With future Covid-19 impact unclear, focus turns to ‘key piece’ in NGA construction”

Posted on May 29, 2020

ST. LOUIS – May 29, 2020

While Covid-19 may be changing today’s real estate environment, it’s less clear what that will mean for the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency western headquarters when it’s fully operational in 2025.

The pandemic, though, has yet to impact construction or alter the design of the facility as builders work through a key phase of development, officials said.

“We’re in 2020 now .. we just don’t know what the environment will be in five years as a result of Covid-19,” said McCarthy Building Cos. Vice President of Operations Jeff Boyer.

Currently, crews from Castle Contracting, a member of the McCarthy HITT design-build team leading the $1.7 billion project, are doing the mass grading of the 97-acre site, which entails moving more than 775,000 cubic yards of soil. That’s the equivalent to filling Busch Stadium with dirt one and a half times, officials said.

“It’s the key piece that kicks off construction,” Boyer said.

How that grading is done — with an individual working alone in the cabs of heavy equipment and with others spaced out on the site — has been conducive to adhering to social distancing, he said.

Castle, a part of the McCarthy Holdings enterprise, is employing technology such as GPS and sub-surface utility mapping to better ensure all underground utility lines, piping and other hazards are found before actual construction of the facility begins. It’s considered a “balanced site,” meaning no dirt has to be hauled off or trucked in to prep the land for construction, Boyer said.

Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

McCarthy is one of the partners of the McCarthy HITT design-build team, which includes McCarthy, Virginia-based HITT, Kansas-based Black & Veatch, Washington, D.C.-based Gensler and Virginia-based Akima LLC.

Original Article

KMOV: “NGA’s virtual tour shows progress being made at North City site”

Posted on May 27, 2020

ST. LOUIS – May 27, 2020

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) held a virtual tour of the space in north St. Louis Wednesday.

The tour showed off the current phase of construction on the 97-acre site.

Castle Contracting has been working to move 775,000-cubic yards of soil from the site. They’re also using high-tech gear to make sure they are avoiding utility lines below.

The new NGA West site is set to be finished in 2025.

Original Article with Video

St. Louis Business Journal: “St. Louis firm lands $500,000 contract for NGA project”

Posted on Apr 20, 2020

ST. LOUIS – April 20, 2020.

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a St. Louis company a nearly $500,000 multiyear contract for the new western headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Dala Worldwide Services, a minority- and woman-owned small business, was awarded the $491,279.81 contract to provide janitorial services for the on-site office space throughout construction of the Next NGA West. Dala’s services will enable the Corps and NGA to maintain an on-site presence throughout the construction, the Corps said in a release.

The agency’s new $1.7 billion western headquarters in North City is the largest-ever federal investment in St. Louis. The campus will feature a 712,000-square-foot office building, parking garages, a visitor center and more, on 97 acres at Jefferson and Cass avenues. Construction started this spring, and the Corps has said it’s following all COVID-19 safety precautions with construction.

The janitorial services contract was one of six opportunities the Corps identified outside of the $711.7 million design-build contract it awarded to McCarthy HITT, a joint venture of St. Louis-based construction contractor McCarthy Holdings, Virginia-based HITT, Kansas-based Black & Veatch, California-based Gensler and Virginia-based Akima LLC.

The Next NGA West project is a partnership among NGA, the Army Corps of Engineers’ Kansas City district, the Air Force, and McCarthy HITT JV, which is building the project. The Army Corps of Engineers’s Kansas City district is responsible for the design, construction and delivery of the N2W facilities.

Original Article

The St. Louis American: “City’s inclusion goals set for NGA”

Posted on Jan 16, 2020

ST. LOUIS – Dec 19, 2019.

“More than 1,000 workers could be employed daily in 2022 during peak construction of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new $1.75 billion facility project, which broke ground on November 26.

This is a tremendous opportunity to implement the City of St. Louis’ law for employing local residents, minorities, women and apprentices, according to advocates and union leaders.

The city’s inclusion goals require that a minimum of 25 percent of the contract’s labor hours go to minorities, 7 percent go to women, 23 percent to city residents and 20 percent to apprentices.

In 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officials, which is overseeing design and construction, told The St. Louis American that the agency can only adopt federal workforce goals of 14.7 percent minority and 6.9 percent women on the N.G.A. project.

However, members of the McCarthy-HITT joint venture team leading the project’s construction said that they have taken it upon themselves to implement the city’s goals.

“We have our contractual goals and our internal goals, but those are just numbers,” Heather Cirre, small business manager for the McCarthy-HITT team. “We are really interested in maximizing the participation of the community around us, based on what the marketplace will support.”

For them, the project is also an opportunity to build a pipeline of apprentices and address the issue of attrition in the trades, Cirre said.”

Read the full article.

Small Business & M/WBE Outreach Event

Posted on Oct 2, 2019

McCarthy HITT will be hosting an outreach event for all companies interested in working on construction of the Next NGA West project, especially small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses. We will provide a schedule update on design activities project occurring over Fall/Winter 2019-2020, along with guidance on how to qualify for construction contracting opportunities. We also will provide networking sessions with our preconstruction and subcontractor bid procurement teams, along with other community resources for small businesses, including representatives from the MO and IL Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), the MO Association of General Contractors, and the St. Louis Small Business Empowerment Center.

Who: We welcome all companies interested in working on the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency project.

  • This event is primarily for small businesses and those owned by minorities, women, and veterans.
  • Scopes of work covered by this event include sitework, hauling/trucking, fencing, asphalt, concrete, mechanical, and electrical
  • Future events regarding contracting opportunities for core & shell and interior finishes will take place once construction begins.
  • Large businesses who want to learn about contracting with small and disadvantaged businesses may also wish to attend.

Cost: Free

Registration Required (not necessary for speakers & table hosts):

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/small-business-mbe-wbe-federal-contracting-nga-update-fallwinter-19-20-tickets-76267198243

Nearest Metrolink station:  8th & Pine (about 4 blocks)

Nearby parking garages:

  • Mansion House Garage, 330 N. 4th Street (Bring parking ticket to pay at Covo)
  • St. Louis Place SP+ Parking, 451 Pine Street
  • Kiener Plaza East, 500 Pine Street