China Lake Marks Completion of $64 Million Technology Center

Last Updated : 5/26/2011 10:15:56 AM

Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake celebrated the completion of the station's largest 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) project Oct. 8 with a ribbon cutting ceremony for a $64 million technology center.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest managed the construction project. Barnhart Construction of San Diego was the project contractor.

"The 2005 BRAC law brought new and expanded scientific and technical expertise with specialized acquisition experience to NAWS China Lake," said Howard Sweatte, NAVFAC Southwest China Lake BRAC program manager. "New and renovation construction projects were started to meet these requirements. Specifically, the BRAC recommendation created a Naval Integrated Weapons & Armaments (W&A) Research, Development & Acquisition Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Center at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD), China Lake."

The newly constructed 177,000 square foot technology center named Dr. William B. McLean Laboratory will serve as a new home for about 550 personnel working in engineering, logistics, modeling, and simulation. The center will also host conferences and symposiums for the Navy weapons and armament community.

The Dr. William B. McLean Laboratory is named for the technical director of Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) China Lake from 1954 to 1967. Dr. William B. Mclean also led the project team that conceived and developed the heat-seeking Sidewinder air-to-air missile from 1945 to 1954.

"The work that is transitioning from Crane, Indian Head, Pax River, Point Mugu, Point Hueneme, and Dahlgren will be executed in this facility," said Sweatte.

About 50,000 square feet is designated for secured engineering laboratories.

"Featured in this project are two 4,800 square foot high bay laboratories with 25-foot door access and overhead bridge cranes," said Sweatte. "In addition to a reconfigurable conference center and office management spaces, the project features 30 laboratories which range in size from 500 to 2,500 square feet and are expandable, secured, and networked."

The design and construction of the project incorporated sustainable design principles and energy conservation in accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It is also certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

"The project FY 07 was required to be LEED self certified," said Sweatte. "Documents were submitted to the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) for LEED Gold."

The official party for the groundbreaking ceremony included Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Commander Rear Adm. Mat Winter, NAWS China Lake Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Dobson, Naval Air Weapons Center Weapons Division Executive Director Scott O'Neil, BRAC Implementation Team Head Ruth Hogan, NAVFAC Southwest Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hamilton, Barnhart Balfour Beatty Executive Director of Operations Arthur L. "Tex" Barnhart, KMA Architecture and Engineering President Don Blair, and Mark McLean. Mark McLean, the son of Dr. William B. McLean, cut the ribbon to the laboratory named in honor of his father.

"This project sets the standard for weapons development with a new Integrated Weapons & Armaments Research, Development & Acquisition, Test & Evaluation Center," said Sweatte. "Specifically, this project is the largest of all the BRAC projects at China Lake. It is the critical link with missile design, named after the scientist that created the Sidewinder missile; the building is called the Dr. William B. McLean Laboratory. If you ever wanted to work on a project with real rocket scientists this was a great one."

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