Florida Construction News staff writer
Gilbane Federal has been awarded a multiple part construction contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast to build a littoral innovation and prototyping site at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City. The project, $58.5 million fixed-price contract is to replace nine buildings damaged by Hurricane Michael in October 2018.
“Gilbane is proud to play a role in supporting innovation and the expansion of research and testing capabilities by building this new facility for the Navy,” said Heidi DeBenedetti, chief administrative officer and regional president. “We look forward to beginning the construction process and realizing this important project for NAVFAC and NSWC PDC.”
Construction is expected to be completed by January 2026.
The new innovation center will enhance collaborative and equipment capabilities during research, development, test & evaluation (RDT&E) for mine warfare (MIW) and expeditionary warfare (EXW) operations – key mission areas for NSWC PCD.
Work includes construction of a 54,475 square-foot laboratory, workspace and laboratories for engineers and scientists. It will consolidate geographically dispersed buildings, increasing inter-program research interaction while also reducing maintenance and repair costs.
The building will be equipped with high bays with an overhead crane, loading dock, large tank room, and elevator. Laboratory spaces will be outfitted for technology development in advanced sensors; biosciences; communications; computational sciences; platform-based cybersecurity; big data analytics; autonomy; robotics; machine learning; artificial intelligence; automatic target recognition; and predictive methodologies.