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Nov. 21, 2002

Michael Mewhinney                                                                           
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.                           
Phone: 650/604-3937 or 650/604-9000
E-mail: mmewhinney@mail.arc.nasa.gov


RELEASE: 02-121AR

NASA RESEARCH PARK GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR DEVELOPMENT  

NASA officials today signed the Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement for the NASA Ames Development Plan (NADP). 

The goal of the NADP is to develop portions of Moffett Field, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, into the NASA Research Park (NRP), a world-class, shared-use research and development campus in association with academia, industry and non-profit organizations. 

“This is a big step forward in the development of the NASA Research Park,” said NASA Ames Research Center Director G. Scott Hubbard. “The signing of the Record of Decision signals that a major hurdle has been crossed and that plans for building new research and educational facilities can continue to move forward. We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale, community groups and the general public. It has been heartening. We look forward to moving ahead and making the dynamic research park we've promised a reality,” added Hubbard. 

The planning for the research park involved the collaborative efforts of NASA, local cities, community groups and planned NRP partners. “Today’s signing moves our collaboration with our neighboring cities and partners to the next stage,” said Trish Morrissey, NRP director for planning. “Ultimately our partners will create more than 7,000 high-tech jobs and provide housing for almost 5,000 employees on site,” she said.

In 1997, Mountain View and Sunnyvale established the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to recommend uses at Moffett Field.  The CAC worked closely with NASA and its recommendations are included in the NADP.  NASA has established several R&D and education partnerships that provide for research laboratories, office space, classrooms, exhibit halls and other public facilities.  Academic partners include the University of California at Santa Cruz, San Jose State University, Carnegie Mellon University and the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District.

“Students attending academic programs at the NRP will be Silicon Valley’s high-tech workforce of the future,” said Hubbard.  “By integrating NASA, university and private sector R&D efforts, the NRP will serve as a new world-class R&D campus for the nation, and enhance scientific research, technology advancement and the transfer of research knowledge to the commercial sector.  Through new, dynamic, non-profit science and technology learning centers, like the California Air and Space Center, public involvement and understanding of science, technology and space exploration will be increased.”

The NADP addresses proposed new development in NASA Research Park, the Bay View and Eastside/Airfield areas, as well as potential replacement of existing NASA facilities at the Ames campus. No new wind tunnels or increased aircraft operations are proposed. All of the existing habitat for the burrowing owl, a species of special concern, will be fully protected.

Specific areas proposed for development in the NADP include: 

•  NASA Research Park: a 213-acre parcel located between the Ames Research Center campus, the airfield, U.S. Highway 101 and the U.S. Air Force military housing area;

•  Eastside/Airfield: a 952-acre parcel including the airfield and property on its eastern side;

•  Bay View: a 96-acre parcel located north of the existing campus of Ames Research Center; and

•  Ames Campus: a 233-acre parcel comprising the existing campus of Ames Research Center.

Four public hearings on the environmental impacts of the NASA Ames Development Plan were held in December 2001. Five alternatives for the proposed development were reviewed in the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.    

NASA selected the Mitigated Alternative 5 as the preferred alternative.  The preferred alternative has been identified as the option that best meets NASA’s purpose and need. Mitigated Alternative 5 will generate 7,088 new employees, approximately 3,000 students, and house 4,909 residents in 1,930 housing units.

Mitigated Alternative 5 provides for the construction of approximately 2.5 million square feet of new educational, office, research and development, museum, conference center, housing and retail space in the NRP area, as well as the demolition of approximately 560,000 square feet of non-historic structures and renovation of approximately 600,000 square feet of existing space.  It also allows the addition of approximately 1.2 million square feet of new development in the Bay View area, primarily for housing. In the Ames Campus, it includes the demolition of approximately 400,000 square feet of existing test facilities and office buildings, and new construction of 500,000 square feet of high-density office and research and development space. 

Further information about the NASA Ames Development Plan and the Environmental Impact Statement, including copies of both documents, is available at:

http://researchpark.arc.nasa.gov

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