Balfour Beatty Construction, W&J Construction Corporation and M.W. Williams Construction Group broke ground on the $100 million Harris Technology Center in Palm Bay, Florida.
At a ground-breaking ceremony on 27 November, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Harris Corporation President and CEO William Brown joined other state and local dignitaries to kick off construction on the facility that will become the centrepiece for some of the company's most advanced engineering efforts.
Harris, an international communications and information technology company, is one of the largest public companies headquartered in Florida and the largest technology company based in Central Florida. The company has more than 15,000 employees worldwide, including 6,500 employees in Central Florida. Harris has 20 operations in seven locations throughout Florida, occupying more than 3.5 million square feet of office and manufacturing space. The company also provides some of Florida's highest average wages and is one of the state's largest corporate taxpayers.
The six-story, 464,000-square-foot Harris Technology Center is part of an initiative designed to foster engineering innovation, while retaining existing and attracting new highly skilled engineers to the region. Harris will relocate more than 1,200 employees from existing buildings to the new facility.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, Governor Scott said Florida’s business climate is ripe for corporate expansions, which means more jobs for Florida families. Building of the new facility is expected to create nearly 300 construction jobs in the local community.
"For more than 50 years, Harris Corporation and the state of Florida have been partners working to create opportunities for Floridians. This partnership will continue to flourish and is a tremendous milestone for Florida families," Governor Scott told the audience.
Out of 26 companies vying for the job, Balfour Beatty Construction's Orlando office, in association with W&J Construction Corporation of Rockledge, and M.H. Williams Construction Group, Inc. of Melbourne, were selected to build the center, which is designed by Melbourne architect BRPH.
“Balfour Beatty is thrilled to play a part in building this prestigious project,” said Sean DeMartino, Division President of Balfour Beatty Construction in Florida. “We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Harris Corporation as they re-define their Palm Bay campus.”
Highlights of the new Harris Technology Center include employee amenities such as a cafeteria and fitness center, advanced innovation labs and collaborative work spaces, and energy efficient designs to promote sustainability.
The initial design and approval phase has already been completed. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and to be completed at the end of 2014.
Of great interest at the ground-breaking ceremony was a built-to-scale model constructed by Balfour Beatty Construction Superintendent Joe Smith, who hand-crafted it in his home woodshop during the procurement phase. The model, which was used in the company’s presentation, was built in stackable sections to give the Harris selection committee a better understanding of the progress proposed for the construction schedule.
Florida serves as the hub of Harris Corporation's nearly $1 billion annual research and development initiative. Harris solutions are used extensively by Florida businesses and government agencies, such as the statewide health information exchange for Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration; an advanced, first-responder radio network for Miami-Dade County; the advanced sports arena network for the Orlando Magic; tactical radio systems that support Tampa-based U.S. Central Command; and others.
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Notes to editors:
- A leader in the U.S. commercial construction industry, Balfour Beatty Construction provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services through more than 2,400 professionals nationwide. The company has been cited as a Top 10 Green Builder by Engineering-News Record and as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For® by FORTUNE magazine, each for three years in a row. The company is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a global leader in professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments, with more than $18 billion in annual revenues.
- Balfour Beatty is a world-class infrastructure group with capabilities in professional services, construction services, support services and infrastructure investments.
- We work in partnership with our customers principally in the UK, continental Europe, the US, South-East Asia, Australia and the Middle East, who value the highest levels of quality, safety and technical expertise.
- Key infrastructure markets include transportation (roads, rail and airports); social infrastructure (education, specialist healthcare, and various types of accommodation); utilities (water, gas and power transmission and generation) and commercial (offices, leisure and retail).
- The Group delivers services essential to the development, creation and care of these infrastructure assets including project design, financing and management, engineering and construction, and facilities management services.
- Balfour Beatty employs 50,000 people around the world.