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Construction Begins for NOAA Pacific Regional Center Main Facility at Pearl Harbor, ARRA Project to Create 500 Local Jobs

(L-R): Reverend David Kaupu; Owner & CEO Mr. Daniel Walsh, Walsh Construction; and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation & Management, NOAA, Dr. Larry Robinson untie the traditional maile lei at the ground breaking ceremony on December 7 on Ford Island.

(L-R): Reverend David Kaupu; Owner & CEO Mr. Daniel Walsh, Walsh Construction; and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation & Management, NOAA, Dr. Larry Robinson untie the traditional maile lei at the ground breaking ceremony on December 7 on Ford Island.

PEARL HARBOR – Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii and Walsh Construction held a ground breaking ceremony and traditional Hawaiian blessing on Dec. 7, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Regional Center's main facility on Ford Island.

"About six years ago, NOAA entered into a very productive relationship with the Navy in Hawaii to begin developing the new Pacific Regional Center here on historic Ford Island," said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation & Management, NOAA, Dr. Larry Robinson. "As the island is undergoing its own revitalization plan, it provided the ideal location for NOAA's new Pacific Regional Headquarters with deep water berthing for vessels, sea water for scientific research, and space that can support over 700 people in the future."

Over 700 employees and contractors from various offices on Oahu will be united under one roof, allowing NOAA to reduce costly overhead and improve efficiency.

Construction Begins for NOAA Pacific Regional Center Main Facility

Building A will serve as the main public entrance for the center as well as a gateway to a landscaped waterfront park that is part of the complex. A 3-story, sky-lit atrium will allow light to diffuse and help ventilate air throughout the building while holding support spaces like an auditorium, fitness center, dining area, and conference rooms.

Sustainable elements like photovoltaic panels, an innovative sea water air conditioning cooling system, gray and rain water recycling system, and the use of recycled materials and are expected to help the facility earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status.

The new Pacific Regional Center Main Facility is an American Recovery and Reinvestment project. With the unwaivering support of U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, he successfully was able to help create the financing for this project after seeing a great need for it in Hawaii. And being a stimulus project, this construction was awarded on the basis of creating and retaining jobs, which in turn will spur economic growth while increasing transparency and awareness of government spending.

Several other NOAA facilities, including piers, a storage facility, and a ship operations facility are already finished as part of the campus. The Marine Science and Storage Facility is expected to be completed in 2011, while the Pacific Regional Center Main Facility is scheduled to be finished in October 2012.