A new Central Engineering Building was dedicated July 9 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. It is the first new structure erected at the Caltech-operated research facility in 10 years.
Construction was made possible through unique agreement between California Institute of Technology and NASA in which Caltech acted as private investor with NASA to amortize the $17 million investment.
The building was the first major structure in planned 15-year modernization plan for JPL, and provides more than 100,000 square feet of office space for 800 to 900 engineers, scientists and support staff.
The CEB provides parking level and gross area of 170,000 square feet in four occupied floors. In addition to office space the total includes 15,000 square feet for conference rooms, automatic data processing equipment, reproduction facilities and storage, and 15,000 square feet for light electronic laboratory facilities.
The new building is replacement facility. It allows JPL to release 162,000 square feet of leased space in Pasadena housing 650 people while eliminating nearly half of the 84 office trailers located around the Laboratory.
Dr. Lew Allen, Director of JPL, Dr. Marvin Goldberger, President of Caltech, Dr. Burton Edelson, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications and Fred Felberg, Associate Director of JPL, spoke at the dedication.
Construction of the CEB used so-called "fast track" technique with single design/build contract to shorten the construction period by six to nine months. Ground was broken for the building May 10, 1985.
C. L. Peck Contractor of Los Angeles was the general contractor. Gin Wong Associates of Los Angeles prepared the design.
The last major construction at JPL was the Space Flight Support building, the headquarters for Voyager and other space flight projects. It was completed in 1976.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is research and development center operated for NASA by Caltech.
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