NASA has big plans for historic Moffett Field

Former Naval air station will be converted into R&D campus

March 01, 2003 |

Last November, NASA Ames Research Center got the OK from NASA officials to move forward with its master plan to develop portions of the former Naval Air Station Moffett Field into NASA Research Park (NRP), a shared-use research and development campus in the heart of California's Silicon Valley.

The master plan, which is more than five years in the making, calls for re-development of 234 acres of land in support of NASA's mission to conduct research and develop new technologies in association with academia, industry, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

NASA acquired the federal property in 1994, after the Navy closed the base. It had been in operation for more than 50 years.

Trish Morrissey, NRP director for planning, says the development will include a mix of new construction and renovation work.

The historic district, highlighted by the iconic Hanger 1 structure, will be renovated and restored. Hanger 1, for instance, will be converted into a museum showcasing NASA science.

"To the south are a hodgepodge of many nondescript buildings that will eventually be completely rebuilt," says Morrissey.

The plan also calls for development of a 96-acre parcel of land into mixed-density housing for more than 5,000 employees and students, a first for NASA, says Morrissey. "Housing is very important to this area, because the housing imbalance has been a critical factor here for many years," she says.

NRP's academic partners include University of California at Santa Cruz, Carnegie Mellon University, San Jose State University, and Foothill-DeAnza Community College District.

Other partners include: National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Lockheed Martin Corp., Computer History Museum, and National Center for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

As for a target date for completion, Morrissey says it's a work-in-progress.

"Since NASA is not necessarily in charge of all the various building projects, we don't really have a timeline," she says. "We're hoping our partners will come up with a timeline for their construction."

Morrissey says that Carnegie Mellon University is the furthest along. In January, the Pittsburgh-based institution signed a 15-year lease under which the university will renovate 19,000 sq. ft. of space for its growing West Coast campus in Buildings 23 and 24 on the historic Shenandoah Plaza at Moffett Field. CMU is expected to move in this fall.

"They're going to use that space for their High Dependability Computing Consortium, as well as classes in robotics and IT," says Morrissey.


Overlay Init