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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

February 4, 2005


Joins Senator Kennedy, legislators to promote expansion of Hanscom and Natick


Governor Mitt Romney today signed into law a measure that will help create thousands of new jobs at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford and the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, the state’s two most valuable defense technology centers.


Romney praised the Legislature for passing the bill the same week he filed it. He said the new law will allow the state to issue bonds to finance a $261 million expansion of Hanscom and Natick.


“The businesses and the jobs that could potentially be created because of this important new law reflect our state’s greatest strength – brainpower,” said Romney. “That’s what we bring to the table and that’s what we need to nurture for future job growth and economic success.”


The proposed expansion is expected to add 4,200 new jobs to the 33,000 jobs now supported by the two facilities.


“I’m pleased to be here to see this timely legislation signed into law. We’ve all worked hard to preserve Hanscom and Natick, and put a lot of thought and hard work into developing this expansion plan,” said Senator Ted Kennedy, who joined Romney at the bill signing ceremony. “We’re offering the military the opportunity to nearly double the mission space at Hanscom and greatly expand the space at Natick.”


Kennedy added, “Our plan has been welcomed by military leaders. One General told us that he hadn’t seen anything as innovative since the bidding for the site of the Air Force Academy 50 years ago. It will be a great benefit to the Air Force and to Massachusetts too and I look forward to the day when we can begin breaking ground.”


The Hanscom plan will increase the base’s capacity by 125 percent, or 1.25 million square feet, helping to create a more cost-effective operation for the Pentagon. The state will fund the estimated cost of $242 million, with up to $168 million in additional self-financed military housing to be built by private developers. The measure will also fund infrastructure improvements at and around the base to improve local commuter traffic.


The Natick expansion will create 110,000 square feet of new space. In addition, the Commonwealth has committed to working with the Department of Defense to identify resources for a Soldiers Systems Technology Collaboration Center, a joint venture between the government, technology firms and academia to speed the development of military and homeland security technologies.


Governor Romney and Senator Kennedy serve as co-chairs of the Massachusetts Defense Technology Initiative (DTI) – a public-private partnership of business, scientific, and educational leaders and public officials.





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