A New Generation...A Multi-User Spaceport
As NASA continues to develop partnerships with non-NASA entities, KSC’s Central Campus Concept outlines a strategy to consolidate NASA operations into a geographically confined footprint that maximizes capacity and efficiency. As NASA’s mission continues to evolve, locating key NASA functions in closer proximity will decrease NASA’s footprint, saving NASA valuable resources. It will also create additional opportunities for non-NASA entities to operate in locations on center without impacting existing NASA programs and functions. Flexibility needs to be built into the new plan to allow for future innovation while encouraging synergy between the complementary uses in a way that zones similar activities together for mutual benefit, maximum utilization, and elimination of redundant functions.
Central Campus Concept
Implementation of the Central Campus Concept in alignment with the KSC Master Plan involves the further definition of locations for future anticipated facilities in a manner that fosters innovation, collaboration and efficient operation of facilities at KSC as it transitions to a multi-user spaceport. This process includes the identification of zones on center where specific types of development are envisioned to occur based on proximity to relevant existing infrastructure and proximity to complementary and collaborative facility uses.
In order to provide direction to future development, a Central Campus charrette was held in which each building at Kennedy was reviewed by facility type (administration, lab, processing, shop, warehouse, and miscellaneous) and the best location for each function was identified based on the vision for how the multi-user spaceport would operate in 2032. Through this process, it became apparent that administration and lab functions are best co-located in the Central Campus area next to the O&C building and future headquarter buildings in order to foster collaboration, create a pedestrian-friendly campus, reduce facility maintenance and operation costs, and provide for innovation in state-of-the-art research and laboratory facilities. It was also decided that the best location for shop and warehouse functions is on Contractors Road. The more industrial and utilitarian nature of this area as well as the proximity to the LC-39 area’s processing facilities and miscellaneous buildings creates an incentive to demolish facilities that contain redundant operations and relocate remaining shop and warehouse functions and facilities from the Industrial Area to Contractors Road.
Central Campus Phase 1, slated for completion by January 2017, will serve as a strong foundation for consolidation of NASA operations into a more confined footprint. Relocating the headquarters facility closer to the O&C and SSPF will result in less travel time between facilities and allow more opportunities west of C Avenue for future non-NASA development. Central Campus Phase 2 will accommodate the new headquarters expansion, creating more opportunities for consolidated NASA administrative functions. Central Campus Phase 3 will consist of continued NASA facility consolidation to areas east of C Avenue and Contractors Road. Clustering these types of related functions would increase efficiency of NASA operations on Contractors Road and the LC-39 area and enable opportunities for new development in the west Industrial Area, establishing synergy with research and development occurring nearby at Exploration Park. Central Campus Phases 4 and 5 will consist of upgrades to the O&C South Wing.
In order to identify opportunities to consolidate KSC property, the location of entry gates and secured perimeters were studied to allow for potential divestiture of property and infrastructure to non-NASA entities. Such a modification would benefit NASA in the following ways:
The existing access and security configuration, in which the entire campus is a restricted area, was designed for a single user. Over the medium and long term planning horizons, as the multi-user spaceport concept begins to evolve, it may be necessary to further decrease the territory in which NASA funds the access control mechanisms. NASA should look at ways to address these decreased responsibilities in a structured way that would support the decreased NASA footprint while still maintaining the security of programmatic operations.
In the near term, as the SLF capability is transferred to the state of Florida, it is ideal to move Gate 4 from its current location to just south of Astronaut Road.
In the long term, the Central Campus property consolidation strategy supports securing only areas of KSC which contain hazardous and/or sensitive facilities. As NASA continues to consolidate operations into a confined footprint, it will become more financially viable to only securely control the LC-39 area and eastern portion of the Industrial area that connects with the CCAFS. Any other high-risk facilities or areas outside of these two secured zones could still be protected with its own gate as needed.
Historically, the metric used to gauge economic sustainability within the Agency is the aggregate Current Replacement Value (CRV). CRV represents the total extent of real estate holdings and the corresponding costs to operate and maintain these facilities measured in today’s dollars. In response to declining federal operating budgets, NASA has stated its target or reducing KSC’s CRV by 10% by 2020 and 15% by 2050. Traditionally, the only way to reduce CRV is through demolition. If a real property asset along with its operation and maintenance costs are transferred to a non-NASA entity, the CRV of the asset still remains on the government ledger. However, while KSC recognizes that there are many facilities that need to be shed, many of the assets are uniquely suited for potential future space-related activities. To account for this phase of change, Effective Current Replacement value (E-CRV) has been established as a measure that includes the savings of operation and maintenance costs of facilities that have been transferred to non-NASA entities. KSC will continue to form partnerships and try to expand its authority to allow for the public-benefit conveyance of real property assets in order to preserve the Center’s and nations crucial launch infrastructure.
In order to achieve the goal of reducing KSC’s CRV to NASA’s stated targets, KSC will need to develop a strategy to determine which mission critical facilities are still needed in the future and co-locating as many existing capabilities as feasible. As a number of aging facilities at KSC are demolished, guided by the Authoritative List that contains an extensive inventory and database of all KSC facilities and their corresponding lifespan, KSC should evaluate each facility’s function to determine whether it should be considered mission critical in the future. Newly constructed facilities that are deemed mission critical should be co-located as much as possible on Contractors Road and in the Industrial Area east of C Avenue.
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