Over 30 distinguished guests joined Mobile, Ala.-based full-service shipyard Austal and the U.S. Navy in celebrating the official opening of the new Navy Administration Building in Mobile with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 19. 

Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA’s senior vice president of operations, welcomed the guests. Other event participants included Brian Leathers, Austal’s interim president and chief financial officer; U.S. Navy Capt. Stephen W. Mitchell, supervisor of shipbuilding, Gulf Coast; Bess Rich, Mobile City Council representative, District 6; and Connie Hudson, president, Mobile County Commission.

“We are grateful to the City of Mobile and Mobile County for their economic support which resulted in today’s cause for celebration,” said Leathers in an Austal press release. “This state-of–the-art, energy-efficient building will allow onsite Navy personnel to come together under one roof to better supervise the completion of Austal’s two major Navy shipbuilding programs, the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High Speed Vessel.”

Located just across the drive and east of Austal’s new office complex on Addsco Road, the 30,000-square-foot Navy Administration Building is expected to be occupied by members of the Navy’s LCS pre-commissioning crew, LCS mission package personnel, supship and Navy contractor personnel, JHSV crew members, and additional government program personnel. The two-story building has 43 individual private offices, three large classrooms, six conference rooms, four breakroom/kitchen areas, and parking for 155 including six electric car charging stations.

The energy-efficient office space features motion sensor lighting and air conditioning computer-controlled from a central location, Austal says.  It will consolidate Navy personnel from three separate physical locations, a similar advantage to what Austal’s new office complex offers by bringing employees from all over Mobile into one location.

TerMac Construction Inc., of Mobile, served as the construction project’s general contractor. The company was assisted by other local construction support teams including: Hatch Mott Macdonald (architects), of Daphne, Ala.; Thompson Engineering (site work), of Mobile; Hosea Weaver (site work) of Mobile, Coastal Exposures Landscape (landscape and irrigation) of Loxley; and Port City Glass and Mirror Co. Inc. (storefront), of Fairhope.

Austal is currently under contract with the U.S. Navy to build nine 103-meter JHSVs under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract and five 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships, four of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. As the ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks, and seaframe control.

These two contracts will require Austal to increase its Mobile, Alabama workforce to approximately 4,000 employees in order to fulfill the contract requirements. 

“With almost 10 percent of these workers expected to reside in the neighboring states of Florida and Mississippi,” said Leathers. “As Austal USA continues to establish its rightful place as one of the world’s premium shipbuilders, I am proud that we are an engine of regional growth for the Gulf.”