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News | July 9, 2009

Construction begins at U.S. Central Command, creates jobs for local community

By Sgt. Rick Nelson , U.S. Central Command

Members of U.S. Central Command’s staff along with GEN David Petraeus and local community leaders shovel up dirt during the gound breaking ceremony for the new USCENTCOM headquarters facility at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., June 29. Photo by SSgt. Brad Lail.

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (July 6, 2009) - Construction for the U.S. Central Command’s new Headquarters facility officially began with a turn of a shovel from Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of USCENTCOM and other members of the command’s staff, at MacDill Air Force Base.

With bulldozers already on scene, members of the command staff and key personnel responsible for construction of the 258,730 square foot building attended the ground breaking ceremony. The facility is set to be completed in June 2011.

"The new USCENTCOM headquarters facility will consolidate and integrate the complete functions of the United States Central Command and its coalition members into a modern and flexible complex designed to support its current and future missions," said Lt Col James R. Beam Jr., chief of the Construction Management Office of USCENTCOM. "The building will consist of 252,085 square feet of space in a new four-story structure. There will also be a reception center including a remote secured entry control point and new food service and dining functions, which will provide for another 6,645 square feet for a total of 258,730 square feet."

This new building will be occupied by an estimated 1,800 personnel and mirror the new Joint Intelligence Center built last year, added Beam.

Not only will this be a much larger building, the facility will also meet all requirements in order to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified.

"LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most like energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts," said the chief of the Construction Management Office.

The new facility is not only expected to be environment friendly, it will also help the outlying areas around the base in other ways.

Statistics obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Area Office estimate the construction effort could employ as many as 350 people during its peak construction periods.

"This facility is very important to the local community as well and will create hundreds of jobs," said Gen. Petraeus. "Central Command has long been in need for a new Headquarters and all members will benefit and take pride in working in such a facility."

"Some members of the staff will even be able to see light for the first time in years," he jokingly added.