With this week's official signing of the Record of Decision (ROD) by the Department of the Army, the way is now cleared for the actual realignment of Fort Belvoir under the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Report (BRAC).
It documents a reduction from 22,000 to 19,000 as the actual number of jobs moving to the southeastern Fairfax County post by September 2011. That includes those going to Belvoir's Engineering Proving Grounds and possibly to the present site of the General Services Administration warehouses in Springfield.
The ROD generally adopts the "preferred alternative" described in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) released July 6 and directs Fort Belvoir Installation Commander Col. Brian W. Lauritzen to proceed. Construction can now begin on facilities for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) at Belvoir's EPG and the new hospital planned for the main installation's South Post, according to Don Carr, public information director, Fort Belvoir.
Coinciding with the ROD signing, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, announced the award of a contract to Clark/Balfour Beatty-NGA to construct NGA's new campus at EPG. The contract, awarded to the joint venture firm Aug. 10 and announced Tuesday, will consolidate NGA's eastern operations at the new facility.
The contract, structured as a base bid with several bid options that may be selected by the government, either at the time of initial award or during a specified ordering period, is worth $334 million. This is for the construction integration phase services and construction related to site work, the central utility plant and other supporting facilities.
The lower number of jobs moving to Fort Belvoir is based on information not available when work began to prepare the project's EIS, according to the ROD. "The number of jobs of the Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) is lower because Navy and Air Force organizations in Pentagon renovation space will find permanent space in accordance with the BRAC statute other than Fort Belvoir, and Army Pentagon renovation leased space personnel will be going to Belvoir's main post," according to the ROD signing news release.
"This results in an increase to 3,943 for Army lease personnel going to Belvoir's main post. At the same time, the number of personnel leaving Fort Belvoir due to BRAC decisions is higher than originally thought. All of these departing personnel, 2,500, are currently at the main post," the release said.
"The net number of new employees at main post will be the same as analyzed in the EIS; departure of the additional personnel from their current buildings means that the same amount of existing infrastructure is available for main post tenants. The impacts to main post analyzed in the EIS are still valid," according to the announcement.
The ROD authorizes a total of just over 4,200 jobs coming to the main post and 8,500 to EPG. It leaves open where the remaining 6,200 WHS jobs will move. It calls for additional analysis and documentation for alternative locations such as the GSA warehouse site.
The Army will pursue funding for five of the transportation projects certified as eligible for funding under the Defense Access Roads Program. This makes these five projects eligible to receive federal funding when it becomes available.
"Fort Belvoir's BRAC planning has undergone comprehensive review and comment. We have invited, listened to and incorporated comment from elected officials, organizations, and citizens at large. The change in plans for the EPG is an example of adjustments made as a direct result of the installation's outreach and evaluation of our preferred alternative for that site," said Lauritzen.
Copies of the ROD can be requested by contacting Fort Belvoir Directorate of Public Works, 9430 Jackson Loop, Suite 100, Fort Belvoir, VA, 22060-5116 or e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available online at http://www.hqda.army.mil/acsim/brac/nepa_eis_docs.htm.
For additional information concerning the ROD contact Don Carr, Fort Belvoir Public Information Office, at 703-805-2583 during normal business hours Monday through Friday.