ST. LOUIS – Tuesday’s groundbreaking on the new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in north St. Louis kickstarts a five-year build to produce what’s being called America’s revolutionary intelligence facility.
Congressman Adam Schiff was in attendance for the ceremony. here. taking a break from the impeachment inquiry. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, helped select St. Louis as the new site and shared credit with Congressman Lacy Clay and Senator Roy Blunt for their bipartisan support in working so hard to get the NGA to St. Louis.
“I was proud to support their effort. It doesn’t affect my district but it just seemed like the best location for this new, important facility,” Schiff said.
The $1.7 billion headquarters will see the NGA leave its old facility in south St. Louis.
“It’s important these young people growing up in the neighborhood take advantage of the educational opportunities and scholarships that NGA is about to offer them,” Rep. Clay said.
The state of Missouri and St. Louis City paid over $100 million to buy the land and prepare it for the long construction. That will be paid back with local and state income taxes from the NGA employees.
“It’s giving people opportunity for jobs,” said Missouri Governor Mike Parson. “It’s helping the economy and to do it here in this area that needs a little boost for the economy, I think it’s going to be a huge help for people who live here.”
Approximately 1,100 people will be working construction at the 712,000 square-foot NGA West, with over 3,000 people ultimately working for the NGA.
Mayor Lyda Krewson said the prep work was completed with 40 percent minority-owned and 45 percent women-owned construction participation.
Additional credit is being handed to former mayor Francis Slay for his work in securing the deal when there was major competition from other cities.
Vice Admiral Robert D. Sharp, director of the NGA, speaks highly of St. Louis.
“The people here are so friendly,” he said. “Brought my wife here a few months ago for her first visit and I warned her: you're going to fall in love with the city of St. Louis.”