U.S. Department of Commerce Boulder Labs
- November 1987: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) in Boulder, Colorado, submits a request to the General Services
Administration (GSA) in Denver to consolidate NOAA office, laboratory, and
research facilities from obsolete and inadequate leased space in multiple locations
into one principal site at the Boulder Department of Commerce (DOC) campus,
currently occupied by another DOC agency, the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST).
- June 22, 1989: The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Public Works
and Transportation passes a resolution directing GSA to construct a Federal
building for NOAA at the DOC campus.
- November 3, 1989: Public Law 101-136 appropriates funds to GSA for the
project, and authorizes the Department of Commerce to transfer land at the 325
Broadway site to GSA for the building.
- June 1990: GSA prepares an Environmental Assessment for the proposed project
resulting in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) in August 1990.
- March 1993: GSA decides to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement
addressing community concerns about the proposed NOAA building, the National
Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Master Site Development Plan, the
Native American medicine wheel issue, and the potential impacts to wildlife from
development at the DOC site.
- December 1993: City of Boulder and NIST signs a Memorandum of Agreement
restricting development of the DOC campus in Boulder and granting the City an
irrevocable easement of approximately 50 percent of the DOC site.
- October 1994-1996: Consultations with Federally-recognized, sovereign Native
American Tribal Governments having historical ties to the Colorado Front Range
area result in a Memorandum of Agreement to protect portions of the DOC site
and provide a tribal monitor on-site during excavation.
- December 14, 1995: Public Open House Regarding the draft Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) on GSA/NIST Proposed Actions. (Two sessions held;
1:30- 5pm, and 7-8:30pm.)
- January 12, 1996: Public Meeting (7:00 pm) regarding the GSA/NIST proposed
- March 1996: Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released. Several
hundred copies are printed and distributed to neighbors, libraries, government
officials, tribal representatives, and other interested parties.
- May 3, 1996: Final EIS released and several hundred copies distributed.
- June 14, 1996: GSA issues Record of Decision based on findings in the May
1996 final Environmental Impact Statement for the NOAA project, which also
includes the NIST construction program and Master Site Plan proposed for the
- August 8, 1996: Bid Package distributed to five, pre-qualified, General
- September 12, 1996: Construction bid openings at GSA offices in the Denver
- September 24, 1996: Construction contract awarded to Hensel Phelps
Construction Company of Greeley, Colorado.
- October 18, 1996: Ground Breaking Ceremony held at the building site.
- November 18, 1996: Start of construction.
- January 3, 1997: First concrete poured, for the foundation of the southern part of
the building, Block D.
- October, 1998: Congress passed legislation naming the building the David
Skaggs Research Center in honor of Congressman David Skaggs of Boulder.
- February-May, 1999: NOAA's five laboratories, data center, and National
Weather Service Weather Forecast Office move into and occupy the David
Skaggs Research Center.