Under Construction

Under Construction: Top Facility Projects of November 2023

Facilities Management Advisor’s “Under Construction” series highlights some of the latest, most interesting facility project announcements every month.

$11B Chip Factory

Texas Instruments (TI) broke ground on its new 300-mm semiconductor wafer fabrication plant in Lehi, Utah. Dubbed LFAB2, the facility will connect to TI’s existing wafer fab in Lehi and ultimately help the company manufacture tens of millions of analog and embedded processing chips every day at full production. The $11 billion project marks the largest economic investment in Utah history, creating about 800 more TI jobs and thousands of indirect jobs. The company also committed $9 million to the Alpine School District to develop the state’s first district-wide K-12 STEM learning community.

Courtesy: TI

Organization: Texas Instruments
Location: Lehi, Utah
Type of project: New build
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: $11 billion
Status: Ground broken Nov. 2
Expected completion: Production as early as 2026

Interesting tidbit: TI boasts a long-standing commitment to sustainable manufacturing. LFAB2 will be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold version 4 certification, which TI recently achieved at another fab in Richardson, Texas. The facility will aim to be powered by 100% renewable electricity and use advanced tech to reduce waste, water, and energy consumption. In fact, LFAB2 is expected to recycle water at nearly twice the rate of TI’s existing fab in Lehi.

Quote: TI President & CEO Haviv Ilan said, “With the anticipated growth of semiconductors in electronics, particularly in industrial and automotive, and the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, there is no better time to further invest in our internal manufacturing capacity.”

More details available here.

Rendering courtesy of TI

Robin Roberts Broadcast Media Center

Southeastern Louisiana University celebrated the official groundbreaking on its $40 million renovation of D Vickers Hall. The project will include a new broadcast media center named after Southeastern alumna and Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts. The TV star made a sizable donation to help fund the project and was on-site to inspire the next generation of broadcasters. Roberts said, “Every time I’m back on this campus, I’m 18 years old again with big eyes, big dreams, and big hair. The outfits may have changed, but the Southeastern spirit has not.”

Courtesy: Southeastern’s Facebook account

Organization: Southeastern Louisiana University
Location: Hammond, La.
Type of project: Renovation/expansion
Size: 113,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $40 million
Architect: Holly & Smith
Status: Ground broken Nov. 6
Expected completion: Spring 2025

Interesting tidbit: The 80,000-square-foot academic facility is currently home to the English, theatre, foreign language, and communication departments. The Robin Roberts Broadcast Media Center will add 33,000 square feet to the building and feature three studios. Other facility upgrades include more shared classroom spaces for all departments, a reconfiguration of faculty offices to increase natural light, and a makeover of the Vonnie Borden Theatre.

Quote: Southeastern President William S. Wainwright said, “This facility is greatly overdue, as our faculty and students have been operating with limited space. The new facility will greatly enhance the classroom and specialized lab space needed to provide modern instructional opportunities to our students.”

More details available here.

Replacement Emergency Ops Center

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) is building a better State Emergency Operations Center for its Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) division. The new home base in Blaine will replace the current one in downtown St. Paul, which the DPS said has proven to be a “less-than-ideal location in an emergency.”

Courtesy: DPS

Organization: Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Location: Blaine, Minn.
Type of project: New build
Size: 37,000 square feet
Estimated cost: $41 million
Status: Ground broken Oct. 26
Expected completion: Spring 2025

Interesting tidbit: The DPS noted the current operations center is in a crowded area hindered by electricity, security, and communications signal issues—problems that were made “abundantly clear” when the center was activated for nearly 500 days during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new facility will offer clear sight lines and critical updates, including geothermal heating/cooling and solar panels for electricity; the ability to withstand an EF3 tornado; protection from lightning and power surges; and the capability to house and feed emergency staff.

Quote: HSEM Director Kristi Rollwagen said, “This new facility gives us what we need to keep Minnesotans safe—not only on their worst days but for the long haul.”

More details available here.

Airport Terminal Transformation

United Airlines and the Houston Airport System announced the Terminal B Transformation Program at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. With a price tag above $2 billion, the project will encompass the construction of 40 new gates and upgrades at United’s aging hub to accommodate larger aircraft and more passengers.

Rendering courtesy of United

Organizations: United Airlines and Houston Airport System
Location: Houston, Texas
Type of project: Renovation/expansion
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: Over $2 billion
Design-Build Team: Page, PGAL, Clark Construction, Manhattan Construction, et al.
Status: Announced Nov. 7
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: The concourse design will feature amenities like a sensory room, a multimedia interactive United-branded “park,” and comfort zones for passengers with disabilities that provide a quiet space for those needing to decompress between security checkpoints and boarding processing. The project will also aim to achieve LEED Silver certification.

Quote: Mario Diaz, the City of Houston’s aviation director, said, “The redevelopment of one of Bush Airport’s oldest terminals is a symbol of the crucial role air service plays in the economic vitality of Houston.”

More details available here.

Hurricane-Damaged Health Center

Six years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much of the U.S. territory’s infrastructure is still in need of repair. In November, FEMA and local officials finally broke ground on a federally funded project to rebuild the Susana Centeno Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a major healthcare facility for the municipality of Vieques.

Courtesy: FEMA/Eliezer Hernández

Organizations: Governments of Puerto Rico and Vieques; and FEMA
Location: Vieques, Puerto Rico
Type of project: Reconstruction
Size: N/A
Estimated cost: Nearly $43.5 million in federal funds
Status: Ground broken Nov. 5
Expected completion: N/A

Interesting tidbit: FEMA allocated nearly $43.5 million for the reconstruction project, representing the largest amount of funds the agency has awarded at a municipal level as part of Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery. Meanwhile, Vieques has been relying on temporary replacements for the center, including FEMA-backed medical trailers and other health services. Since Hurricane Maria, FEMA has allocated over $31.3 billion for nearly 10,900 recovery projects in Puerto Rico.

Quote: FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said, “We understand how important this healthcare facility is to every single resident of Vieques, and we have worked closely with the Government of Puerto Rico to make sure residents have the facility they need and deserve. Today, we see the results of our partnership as we take this important step in the island’s recovery.” 

More details available here.

Honorable Mentions

Do you have a major project announcement you’d like considered for the “Under Construction” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com.

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