CARSON COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - A groundbreaking ceremony held Thursday at Pantex, a nuclear weapons facility east of Amarillo, marked the beginning of construction for a new complex designed to replace 50 outdated buildings at the site.
The Administrative Support Complex will be a 343,000 sq. ft. facility.
More than 1,000 employees will be relocated to the modern complex from older buildings, which Pantex says cost $20 million just to maintain.
"We can transfer one third of the work force that does not require the highest level of security," said Lieutenant General Frank Klotz of the National Nuclear Security Administration. "Being outside the wire allows us to have greater interaction with Texas Tech and other educational institutions in the area."
Pantex will be leasing 15,000 sq. ft. of the building to Texas Tech for research on missile security, chemical processes, and advanced machinery.
The Administrative Support Complex is separated from the main Pantex buildings to reduce security issues and connect with public entities.
"The Department of Energy has enormous infrastructure needs, and limited resources to meet them," said Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry. "This makes sense for the tax payers, and it makes sense for the national security mission."
A price-tag has not been associated with the project; however, Pantex plans release that information later this month.