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Construction Begins On New Complex At Washington Navy Yard

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday broke drywall with a sledge hammer during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Operational Archives and Repository Complex at the Washington Navy Yard.

A new project is moving forward at the Washington Navy Yard, the major federal facility that has helped spark the development of the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.

The Naval History and Heritage Command announced Thursday it broke ground on a new archival complex where it will store historic artifacts and other collections. 

The facility, called the Operational Archives and Repository Complex, is expected to be completed by 2022. It will consist of two buildings totaling 58K SF, and the project is expected to cost $40.7M. 

The project is replacing buildings that were constructed in 1851. The Washington Navy Yard, established in 1799, employs roughly 16,000 people across 2.2M SF of office space, according to the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District.

In addition to housing archives, the new facility will include space for the staff of the Underwater Archaeology Branch, which advises the Department of the Navy on historic preservation of underwater wreck sites of military ships and aircraft. The complex represents the Navy's biggest-ever infrastructure project to preserve the history of the military branch, it said. 

“This new project underscores the vital role the Naval History and Heritage Command serves in preserving our Navy’s institutional memory,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said in a release. “With this archival complex we will continue to remember and present an accurate history of our Navy and tell the stories of those who have gone before us for generations to come.”  

UPDATE, AUG. 6, 5:20 P.M. ET: This story has been updated to include the size and cost of the project. 

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Related Topics: Capitol Riverfront, Navy Yard