A construction contract for $12.4 million, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, has been signed to provide critical deferred maintenance to equip an historic laboratory building to do cutting-edge research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Md.
BARC is operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), which is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and is one of the largest agricultural science centers in the world.
The repairs will be done at BARC's Building 306, which was built in the 1930s to house research projects formerly conducted at USDA's Arlington Farm and subsequently moved to Beltsville to make way for the Pentagon. The building is an historic example of Georgian Revival architecture.
About 55 people, including 12 scientists, will move into Building 306 when the repairs are compete. This will include most of ARS' Environmental Management and Byproducts Utilization Laboratory as well as the Bee Research Laboratory, which is leading USDA's efforts to find the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, the condition causing the mysterious disappearance of honey bees.
"With these repairs, Building 306 will be more environmentally efficient, and our research programs will be more effective in their renewed facilities," said BARC Director Joseph Spence.
The construction contract includes:
The contract has been awarded to the Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Towson, Md.