Groundbreaking Held for Wallops Research Park - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Groundbreaking Held for Wallops Research Park

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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- The Wallops Research Park is officially ready for private development.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) helped NASA and its partners break ground for the new $8 million research park, located adjacent to the NASA Wallops Flight Facility and minutes from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. The park is a prime location for aviation and aerospace companies.

“This is the first big piece of what we need to do to be a real serious aerospace hub for the globe,” McAuliffe said.

It will be a hub for jobs and tourists too. The governor hopes the research park is the start of big things to come.

“Doing what we're doing here today with this new park shows economic vitality and excitement,” McAuliffe said. “I have continuously talked about what we need to do at the next level, we need hotels here, we need it as a destination so, all of this is part the puzzle of building a gigantic new tourism, economic development engine for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and clearly the Eastern Shore."

NASA officials said the research park, which sits on 226 acres of land, is the ideal location for aerospace and aviation operations, specifically for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and medium-class space launch vehicles. It is also the best place for companies that want to leverage and enhance the spaceport’s capabilities.

Caroline Massey, who represents the Wallops Flight Facility on the Wallops Leadership Council, said studies on the coastline will be part of research conducted inside the park.

 "We're trying to grow the science and the technology piece by understanding the link of the coast, along with the aerospace piece," Massey said.
   
A new 1200 ft. taxiway will connect the flight facility’s airfield to the research park. Soon, water and sewer connections, industrial roads, lighting and utilities will be added too.

Linda Thomas-Glover, president of the Eastern Shore Community College, said the school will work closely with NASA Wallops Flight Facility and new companies to find out the type of training that is needed for jobs.

“Our intent is to listen very carefully to find out what their needs are, and then develop the type of training that will produce the type of employee that employers are actually looking for,” Glover said.”

Construction will be complete this December on Wallops Island.
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