master plan would redevelop Fairview buildings
By Kevin Kelley
Published Feb. 7, 2007
new master plan drafted by Glenn Research Center employees would
bring significant changes to the NASA campus, including the redevelopment
of its property north of Brookpark Road into a public outreach area.
The centerpiece of this section of the campus would be an Aerospace
Education Center and a relocated visitor center. New buildings for
space contractors would also be built in this location under the
At a news conference Monday, Glenn Director Woodrow
Whitlow Jr. said the master plan represents a projected investment
of $200 million over 20 years.
The plan must still be approved by NASA headquarters
in Washington, D.C. Whitlow said the plan will be submitted by March.
News of Glenn’s new master plan was published in the
January issue of Aerospace Frontiers, the center’s employee newsletter.
The master plan potentially has great importance to
the city of Fairview Park. NASA had announced in January 2006 that
two buildings in that city on the north side of Brookpark Road —
the Developmental Engineering Building and its annex — would be
While the two buildings (also known as Buildings 500
and 501) occupy only five acres of Glenn’s campus, they house Fairview
Park’s largest group of employees. The potential loss of income
tax from the buildings’ more than 500 employees would put a serious
drain on Fairview Park’s finances, city officials said. Three full-time
and five part-time Fairview Park employees were laid off by the
city in April 2006 in part because of the announced closings of
But because Glenn was able to stem a threatening tide
of buyouts and layoffs, the center plans to continue using the buildings
longer than originally anticipated.
“We didn’t shrink the way we thought we were going
to shrink,” Whitlow said.
Whitlow told West Life that the buildings will be
occupied through 2008 before being demolished sometime between 2009
“We have in our plans some development plans for the
north campus,” Whitlow said, referring to Glenn’s property north
of Brookpark Road.
Whitlow declined to provide any further details about
the master plan before it’s approved by NASA headquarters. If approved,
the master plan would be implemented over a 20-year period.
So how confident is Whitlow that the master plan will
be realized as opposed to ending up just sitting on an office shelf?
“Since I’m responsible for sending it forward, and
since I’ve approved it through every stage, I’m pretty confident
we’re going to take it forward now,” Whitlow said at a news conference
Monday. “What happens when it gets to Washington, that’s another
story. But we’ve involved headquarters as well.”
Whitlow said the draft has been in the works for several
“One of the reasons for wanting to have that master
plan was that whenever we would go forward to advocate for new facilities
or new buildings or new capabilities, institutional capabilities
at the Glenn Research Center, whoever was making the decision would
see that it is part of some overall strategy and it’s not something
that was ad hoc,” Whitlow said.
“I’m good with it,” Whitlow said of the draft. “I’m
ready to take it forward to start to share it with our various stakeholders.”
Joseph Morris, Glenn’s chief architect, said in Aerospace
Frontiers that the master plan draft is necessary as the center
takes a more active role in NASA’s space exploration program.
“Our team has developed an exciting plan that is a
vital management tool to direct our planning efforts and ensure
that we have the facilities we’ll need for present and future missions,”
Morris said in the article.
Morris called the property on which the Fairview Park
buildings stand “a very visible and accessible area to the public.”
“So we can utilize this site for public outreach while
leveraging the value of the land for our space exploration partners,”
Morris said in the article.
According to the article, the master plan also calls
for creating a campus center to function as a “downtown” Glenn.
Along with new administration buildings, an auditorium, conference
center and cafeteria would also be built. The plan also calls for
upgrading test facilities at Glenn’s Plum Brook Station outside