By Kelly Werthmann
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Construction is underway for a $350 million Lockheed Martin facility located south of Denver.
The aerospace company said the new Gateway Center will be among the largest of its kind and produce next generation satellites.
“There is some amazing technology being developed across the industry and we’re excited to be part of that,” said Matt Kramer, Director of External Communications for Lockheed Martin. “We’re very excited to be building everything from weather satellites for NOAA to next generation GPS satellites for every American to NASA’s next Mars lander.”
To keep up with the fast-paced and ever-changing industries of space and technology, Lockheed Martin is adding the 266,000 square foot facility to its already massive compound in Jefferson County. It will include state-of-the-art productions rooms where satellites can be built more effectively and efficiently.
“This is our factory of the future: agile, efficient and packed with innovations. We’ll be able to build satellites that communicate with front-line troops, explore other planets, and support unique missions,” said Rick Ambrose, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin, in a statement. “You could fit the Space Shuttle in the high bay with room to spare. That kind of size and versatility means we’ll be able to maximize economies of scale, and with all of our test chambers under one roof, we can streamline and speed production.”
The Gateway Center will also allow engineers to run advance testings all in one place. It will have an expansive thermal vacuum chamber to simulate the harsh environment space, ensuring every satellite produced is ready for launch.
As far as jobs go, Kramer told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann the project creates about 1,500 contract construction jobs over three years. Lockheed Martin is growing on Earth and in space, with 350 job openings in Denver alone.
An official groundbreaking is scheduled for later this month. The Gateway Center is expected to be completed in 2020.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 This Morning over the weekend and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.