A $22 million chemical and biological research center has opened near the U.S.
Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland.
When fully operational, the 73,000-square foot facility—the Battelle
Eastern Regional Technology Center—will house 16 laboratories, a conference
room and offices for 200 researchers, explained C. Warrant Mullins, vice president
for business development, in the organization’s defense systems unit.
The center includes elaborate and powerful ventilation systems to provide the
cleanest air possible for the sensitive equipment in the laboratories, Mullins
said. “You’re probably breathing some of the cleanest air right
now that you’ll ever breathe in your life,” he said.
The laboratories will perform chemical and biological research for the Defense
Department, all of the military services, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and others. “Some clients
don’t want their names mentioned,” Mullins said.
Initially, most of the work will be defense related, he said, but as time goes
on, “we expect to do more civilian projects.”
The center has plenty of room for growth, Mullins noted. It is situated on
92 acres of forest and wetlands.
Also, the Aberdeen Center is not far from a 30,000-square foot facility that
Battelle opened in 2002 in Stafford, Va. The building was needed to house a
rapidly expanding staff, which grew from two in 1996 to 130 today, according
to Battelle spokesperson Katy Delaney.
The Stafford unit provides test and eva-luation support to efforts by the Marine
Corps Systems Command, at Quantico, Va., to develop chemical, biological and
radiological defenses for all of the military services, other federal agencies
and the nation’s first responders.