REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) - As of Wednesday morning, work is officially underway to add a huge building to the Von Braun Complex on Redstone Arsenal.
Military and political leaders say the new facility will make the Arsenal the epicenter of missile defense expertise in the world.
Wednesday, military leaders swapped their uniform covers for construction hats, along with state political leaders. Then, after a count of 1-2-3, they dug shovels into a vat of dirt and tossed it on a rubber carpet in front of it.
The groundbreaking was held in a parking lot on the Arsenal, near the actual site of where the building will sit. The building will be the fourth of an impressive complex named after Dr. Werner von Braun.
"This is the kind of complex that provides our men and women in uniform the technological capability to make them powerful on the battlefield," said U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, (R) Alabama.
An artist's rendering showed where the 225,000-square foot facility will sit. It will be five stories tall, housing 850 offices and bringing much-needed efficiency to the country's commitment to missile defense.
"With the addition of Von Braun IV, we will have over 5,700 missile and air defense professionals working here everyday side by side," said Lt. General Patrick J. O'Reilly of the U.S. Army.
Moreover, this project means great news for hundreds of local people who may have nothing to do with politics or national security. It's a phenomenal opportunity for local men and women who need jobs.
"It's very tough," said John Gromos, President of Turner Universal. "A lot of people looking for jobs right now and it's great a construction project affects so many people from manufacturers to laborers to builders to architectural engineers."
Turner Universal is a national construction company with an office in Huntsville. It has been hired to construct the building at a cost of up to $58 million.
"It will certainly have a great impact to the local economy," said Gromos.
He says the building should be complete in about 20 months.
Von Braun IV will be so big that it will include 10 business centers. There are still jobs available for workers to join the construction team doing the work. You can apply online through Turneruniversal.com.