During a keynote address at GEOINT 2019 Wednesday morning, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson expressed her excitement and aspirations for the future of GEOINT in St. Louis.
“I’m proud to say that St. Louis is the nation’s center for geospatial excellence,” Krewson declared.
In June 2016, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force, decided to invest $1.7 billion to build the Next NGA West (N2W) campus in North St. Louis. The new headquarters will be located just North of the gateway arch, a monument that commemorates the famous expedition of Lewis & Clark.
“Since  we have worked to prepare the site for NGA’s new home,” Krewson said. “27 city blocks were cleared. Over 60,000 archeological artifacts uncovered. 830,000 tons of dirt was removed and over 30,000 cubic yards of streets were removed.”
The 97-acre N2W campus—scheduled to be completed by 2025—will include an office building of approximately 712,000 square feet, an inspection facility, access control points, a visitor’s center, and parking garages.
Krewson noted that NGA has been a part of the St. Louis community for approximately 70 years. In 1952, the St. Louis Arsenal, where the NGA West Campus currently resides, went from manufacturing and supplying small arms to becoming the U.S. Air Force’s Aeronautical Chart and Information Center.
“We are so excited to continue our partnership with NGA and help them meet their mission for our country and the century,” Krewson said.
As part of its mission, NGA will collaborate with the private sector, geospatial startups, and neighborhoods in and around the future N2W location. The agency also plans on collaborating with neighborhood schools and surrounding universities to train and educate its next generation of employees.
Krewson pointed to remarks made by NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp in April during the inaugural Geo-Resolution conference at Saint Louis University: “I couldn’t be more excited about what we’re doing in St. Louis and it starts with people and with partnerships,” Sharp said. “We are also committed to those people and partnerships. We are all working together for the future.”
Krewson also noted the value of the area’s regional and state governments, civic organizations, academic institutions, economic development groups, and businesses that are all collaborating to create a thriving geospatial ecosystem.
“Our ecosystem of mission-driven geospatial partners, innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, thinkers, and doers make St. Louis the place where you can put yourself on the map,” Krewson said. “We see a very bright future in St. Louis with geospatial technology leading the way.”
The GEOINT Symposium will be held in St. Louis for the first time in 2023, and again in 2025.