Lockheed Martin gets $66 million to help move USAMRIID

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a six-year, $66 million contract to help move the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases into its new lab space at Fort Detrick, the Bethesda-based security company announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., awarded the contract in September, spokeswoman Debra Valine confirmed.

At least 10 Lockheed Martin employees and 25 subcontractors will help with the transition, including outfitting and moving equipment, company spokeswoman Leslie Holoweiko said.

Staff will include biomedical equipment technicians and planners, project managers, transition planners, lab experts and procurement specialists, as well as people to move the equipment, Holoweiko said.

“We are already staffed up for the contract,” Holoweiko said.

Construction of the 810,000-square-foot building began in August 2009 and cost an estimated $683 million, USAMRIID spokeswoman Caree Vander-Linden said Tuesday. It will include 17,000 square feet of biosafety Level 4 lab space — used to study biohazards including Ebola — and 34,000 square feet of biosafety Level 3 space, where researchers can work with other harmful agents including anthrax.

USAMRIID now occupies about 500,000 square feet across several buildings, Vander-Linden said.

This is the site federal officials named as the source of the 2001 anthrax attacks they say were carried out by USAMRIID microbiologist Bruce Ivins.

Planning for the move has begun but the transition has not. It is expected to be a phased process, Vander-Linden said, with USAMRIID taking over the building in November 2014.

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