ST. LOUIS – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.7 billion Next NGA West project is almost complete with the exterior work.

The changes can be seen Tuesday at the Next NGA West, or N2W, campus’s main operations building, and visitor center.

“We’ve got about 5,000 tons of steel plus 280 tons of steel in the central utility plant,” said Josh Gaghen, McCarthy HITT project executive. “If you compare that to the Musial Bridge, that was 7,357 tons of steel, so it kind of put it in perspective.”

“Our job is to ensure that our national security apparatus in the United States, our military, our executive branch, and our intelligence community know what is going on the face of the Earth at any given time,” said Sue Pollmann, Next NGA West executive and N2W program director.

A church spire and the Stan Musial Bridge can be seen beyond the east parking garage of the campus. Two water towers off North Grand are seen beyond the west parking garage.

The campus is a massive 97-acre site at Jefferson and Cass avenues in the St. Louis Place neighborhood.

The exterior of the main office building consists of 1,075 large precast concrete panels. Approximately 5,000 tons of steel are used for beams and columns in the 700,000-square-foot main office building.

Approximately 3,100 men and women are relocating from downtown, near the Anheuser-Busch brewery and Soulard, to the new north St. Louis campus.

From maritime maps to aeronautical charts to topographic maps, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is doing top work above, below, and beyond.

“We have a major portion of our workforce here in St. Louis involved in geomatics, geo-odyssey, or geophysics,” Pollmann said. “Those are the hard sciences that have to do with earth magnetics and gravity and how the Earth changes or morphs on any given day.”

The construction will be completed in 2024, and the campus operations will be finished by 2026.