By Jonathan Phelps
MANCHESTER — BAE Systems remains committed to its newest New Hampshire location — which is being rehabbed on Goffs Falls Road — even though the move-in date has been delayed more than a year.
The defense contractor had initially hoped to move into part of the building by the end of last year. Now they’re aiming for early next year.
“Our initial move-in date was delayed to allow for an expansion of our renovation plans, which best accommodates our current and future business needs,” said Steve Copley, program director at BAE Systems. The company’s electronic systems sector is headquartered in Nashua.
The company declined to give further detail on the expanded features, but said the COVID-19 pandemic had nothing to do with the changed timeline.
The new building will have space for about 800 employees. BAE employs more than 6,000 across various facilities in the Granite State.
Fulcrum Associates, an Amherst-based contractor, started the renovation work on the two four-story buildings in April 2019. Signs have already been installed on the buildings.
The construction company has grown over the past year to support large-scale projects in New England, including BAE systems, according to Jeffrey Luter, president of Fulcrum. Between 150 and 175 are working on site on a regular basis.
Fulcrum has experienced a “moderate level” of supply chain disruption during the pandemic.
“So far we have been able to source materials and equipment from different manufacturers as required to keep the project moving,” Luter said in a statement. “We have not had any instances of COVID-19 in our workforce, but we continue to be extremely vigilant, including screening workers daily as they enter the site.”
The project has unique features centered around BAE’s security systems to handle sensitive information.
“Much of our process is confidential but I can say that this is one of the most technically challenging projects we have ever performed, requiring near perfection in execution at every step, from framing to commissioning — challenging but rewarding,” Luter said.
The first phase of the construction is expected to wrap up in April 2021 with the rest to be completed by September 2021.
The state Business Finance Authority purchased the BAE property at 3000 Goffs Falls Road for about $31 million and leased it to BAE over the next 10 years.
The deal calls for BAE to purchase the building from the BFA at the end of the lease.
The defense contractor has signed the lease for about 200,000 square feet of space that once housed Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
“Our new location in Manchester will strengthen our workforce and improve our ability to deliver high-quality, trusted products to meet our commitments to our customers,” said Ray Brousseau, vice president and deputy general manager of BAE Systems Electronic Systems sector, in a statement.
View the article on Union Leader here.