Workers line up for a piece of Utah's largest construction project

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah will soon become home to the National Security Agency's new high-security data center, and the building project is gathering a lot of interest.

The massive construction project will bring many jobs for Utahns -- thousands during construction, and a couple hundred once the facility is operational.

This is the giant National Security Agency facility that will be the nerve center for processing and storing top secret information for all the nation's intelligence services. It's the largest construction project in Utah history, so local subcontractors are jumping at a chance to be part of it.

Tuesday, hundreds of them clamored into the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Salt Lake to meet with the main contractor and find out what kind of work is available.

By the numbers...
National Security Agency data center
  • $1.7-2 billion to build
  • 1.5 million square feet of building space
  • 200 acres of land it will sit on
  • 24/7, 365 days a year it will be in operation
  • 50 workers will be able to operate and maintain it
  • 2 years to build (no start date announced)

The $2 billion data center will be located at Camp Williams and will cover more than 1 million square feet. The massive job is good news for Utah's hurting construction industry.

"I imagine close to 1,000 workers -- sheet metal workers, construction workers; I expect this job to equal or exceed that," says John Marchand, senior vice president of Dynamic Systems.

There are several companies vying for contract positions, which will be awarded later this year.

Construction for the NSA building should not only create more jobs, but create momentum for builders.

"Oh, it's great!"Everybody's looking forward to it," Marchand says. "Sure, there's been a lot of talk in Salt Lake, and we're certainly looking forward to the opportunity."

The NSA has revealed few specifics about the building, and no date has been set for the start of construction.

Once building begins, it should take about two years to complete.



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Jed Boal


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