The National Security Agency stands to get nearly $30 million to purchase a building and add security measures, and Fort Meade might get more than $8 million for construction projects, including 56 new housing units, under separate Senate and House appropriations bills passed recently.
The Senate version of the $9.2 billion military construction bill was passed Tuesday by a vote of 98-2.
The bill also included $2.9 million to renovate and expand the Annapolis Armory, home of the Maryland Army National Guard 1st Squadron, 158th Cavalry (Reconnaissance). But the project was excluded from the House version of the bill, which passed July 8 by a vote of 395-14.
A conference committee of House and Senate members must meet to write a final version of the bill.
"Our men and women in uniform, and the civilians who work alongside them, deserve safe and secure working conditions in up-to-date facilities," Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland said in a news release. "These funds will keep their workplaces shipshape and ready for duty."
The NSA plans to use $25.2 million to buy a seven-story office building in Linthicum, which the agency leases, to house its information security organization. The Friendship Airport Annex, also known as FANX II, contains 460,000 square feet of office space.
Also, the agency plans to spend $4.6 million to improve security at its Fort Meade complex under a 1996 executive order from President Clinton to upgrade security at all federal buildings, according to an NSA spokeswoman.
A center to screen all vehicles and cargo for bombs or other threats will cost $4 million, and a "visitor control center" will cost $600,000.
Fort Meade would spend $7.9 million to build the new housing units and $450,000 to design a new emergency service center for military police, the fire department and ambulance service.
Fort Meade spokesman Don McClow would not divulge the total cost of the center, saying that information could taint the bidding process.
Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2000 and be completed a year later, according to McClow.
While the House and the Senate agreed on the Fort Meade and NSA projects, the fate of the Annapolis Armory project is uncertain because it appeared only in the Senate bill.
Built in the 1950s to house about half the number of soldiers who use the facility today, the armory on Hudson Street is "badly overcrowded," according to Col. Howard S. Freedlander, executive officer for the Maryland National Guard.
The 250-person unit has turned a conference room into an office and uses maintenance space for storage, he said.
Also, community groups use the building almost every weekend for antiques shows, cat shows and other activities, Freedlander said.
"It is our absolute top priority," Freedlander said of the renovation and expansion plan. Officials want to upgrade the 24,200 square-foot building and add 18,800 square feet of classrooms and storage space.
If the federal dollars fall through this year, the Guard would lose the state's $200,000 contribution to the project, Freedlander said.
Pub Date: 7/24/97