By John HarlowSeptember 28, 2018
On March 8, 1951, Secretary of the Army Frank Pace Jr., announced that Natick, MA was selected out of 278 proposals from 40 states as the location of the Army Quartermaster Research Laboratory at an estimated cost of $11 million. Translate that into current dollars, the construction of what is now the Natick Soldier Systems Center would have cost just under $107 million.
Over the next couple years, the Army will be investing nearly $83 million in construction projects.
In January, demolition begins on the two housing units closest to the installation. At Heritage Lane 24 units will replace the aging townhouses and on General Greene Ave., there will be four homes. Construction on the new military housing is estimated to begin in May of 2019 and be completed in September of 2020.
"The current housing units for these two locations date back to 1974," said Jason Gove, USAG-Natick master planner. "The units are in failing and failed condition and do not meet minimum standards to support the needs of the Soldiers and their families assigned to Natick Soldier Systems Center. This project will improve Natick's Family housing living conditions by providing quarters that meet current standards of quality of life, sustainable building principles, energy conservation, size, habitability, and safety."
The Soldier Squad Performance Research Institute (S2PRINT) has made it through the 35 percent design phase and looks on track to start construction in the Spring of 2020.
The S2PRINT facility is 80,600 sq.ft. of research and development where researchers from the Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM) can study not just the Soldier, but the Soldier and Squad and how they perform.
The cost of constructing the S2PRINT Building is $50 million and estimated to be operational in the Spring of 2022.
The proposed S2PRINT facility will baseline, measure, predict and optimize individual and small unit readiness, performance, and resiliency across real-world, mission-essential tasks. The work, conducted by scientists and engineers at Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), advances Soldier and squad readiness through Human Performance Optimization (HPO) research on the Soldier's and squad's cognitive, social, physiological, physical, and nutrition-based performance. Outcomes of this research will inform Army Modernization Priority #6 -- Soldier Lethality, Army Warfighting Challenges (#1 and #8 through #10), and the Army's Human Dimension Strategy (S0s 1.5 and 2.4).
S2PRINT will provide world-class scientists and engineers with a state-of-the-art, mission relevant, controlled environment for applied studies in Soldier and squad performance optimization and enhancement. S2PRINT's focus areas include but are not limited to development of validated performance and training strategies, tools and interventions for the Soldier, leader and small unit, enhanced Soldier and squad performance and readiness, mitigation of injury and, interventions to increase Soldier and squad resilience and longevity. The S2PRINT facility will promote collaboration among NSSC and other government agencies. It will also enable and actively seek unique collaborations and partnerships with the nation's premier research and industrial partners, first responders, and many of the country's finest academia institutions.
Construction is in progress between the USARIEM and Navy buildings on an 8,600 sq. ft. addition to the USARIEM building. The construction cost is at $6 million and it is expected to be completed in early 2019 and fully operational in the Spring of 2019.
Other projects on the horizon are replacements of storage buildings, a container and testing laydown area and new post office with combined construction cost estimates of $5 million.