Members of the Army Materiel Command and the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command should have their new buildings at Redstone Arsenal by 2011.

"We're anxious to come here. We're anxious to move the headquarters here. We're anxious to break ground and get construction started," AMC commander Gen. Benjamin Griffin said during a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 17.

AMC headquarters has already begun moving from Fort Belvoir, Va., under the 2005 base realignment and closure decisions. More than 150 workers are here and the number should grow to 450 by next summer.

The headquarters will be constructed on Martin Road at the former site of the Photo Lab building 4489. A design-build construction contract was awarded by the Mobile District Corps of Engineers to B.L. Harbert International of Birmingham. Total contract cost is more than $105 million with another $2 million in options to provide and install furnishings and security systems.

This project represents 400,800 square feet. The two buildings, with a common lobby adjoining them, will house about 1,354 AMC people and 367 others from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command. Project completion is expected January 2011.

"The majority of our folks will be here by spring 2011," USASAC deputy commander Rick Alpaugh said. Seventy workers have arrived.

Griffin thanked the local community on behalf of its new neighbors from the Army Materiel Command.

"This is just a tremendous community," Griffin said, "and you've welcomed us."

Maj. Gen. Jim Myles, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command and Redstone Arsenal, called this occasion a special day. "The fabric of this Arsenal is changing right before our eyes," he said.

AMC's move represents the "first time you've had a four-star headquarters in the state of Alabama," according to Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli.

"This (groundbreaking) is a wonderful event for the Arsenal and our local community and the greater Tennessee Valley area," Pastorelli said.