White sands missile range to see construction of new high-tech communications center
Work could begin next spring on a technologically advanced communications and networking center set to go up on the campus of the White Sands Missile Range, 17 miles north of Las Cruces.
The two-story Systems Facility and Communications Center will cost at least $40 million to build and is designed to replace an existing facility, originally called the “telephone exchange and communication center,” that was built in early 1962.
According to plans for the project, two existing structures will be demolished to make way for the building of the new center.
Measuring just over 56,000 square feet, the new facility will house some $32 million in the latest information systems technology, including data processing systems and test mission radio control.
In a statement, April Banks, facility manager with the White Sands Test Center, said the new facility will “give us the ability to do more testing. It advances our capabilities to process and transport vast amounts of electronic test data more reliably, efficiently, faster and securely.”
Funding for the project was secured through the federal Military Construction Army Program. The original timeline set the start date of construction at 2023, but last year the U.S. Army moved the project up to 2019.
Completion date for the project is set for early 2022.
The existing center, built at a cost of $267,000, has long been regarded as too small and outdated for the White Sands Missile Range’s current needs.
By Garry Boulard
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