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Architectural Firm Hired for Research and Technology Park

Nov. 12, 2007 — UVI's Research and Technology Park (RTPark) announced Tuesday the selection of Minneapolis-based architecture firm Architectural Alliance to lead the development of plans and construction drawings for the proposed 20,000-square-foot RTPark facility on UVI's St. Croix campus.
Plans for the facility are expected to be completed within six months, according to a news release issued by RTPark officials.
Architectural Alliance has worked in the Virgin Islands before. Peter Vesterholt, a principal in the company, is descended from the Danes and follows in the territory's Danish architectural design heritage. Architectural Alliance will be assisted in the project by St. Thomas-based Vaccarino Associates, a landscape architecture and design firm instrumental in the original master plan.
Other V.I.-based companies are involved as well, including Scott Andrew Natvig Design, Thompson and Youngross Engineering, Bliss and Nyitray,WEG Engineers, McComb Engineers, BGM Engineers and Surveyors and Kraus Manning.
Global conglomerate Aramark was selected in April to manage the building project.
"The project is being undertaken with sustainable design principles in mind, and we believe this is a first for commercial construction in the USVI," Vesterholt said.
The territory is in a position to take the lead in applying environmentally friendly and sustainable design principles in some new commercial development, said RTPark Director David Zumwalt.
"Our mission is to facilitate sustainable growth, and we embark on this project with an eye on sustainable design," he said.
Incorporating such principles during the earliest design phases is the best way to go, he said. Then implementing them will provide a model for others and state-of-the-art training for the contractors building the park.
"Out in public, the question was raised to me," Zumwalt said in a recent phone interview. "Would proposing something sustainable disqualify someone's company from the project? I would turn that around and say it is an opportunity to bring in sustainable design and by hiring and training local contractors. As more projects come down the road, more companies here will be ready and able to participate. … The talent and scale of services available here, and the quality of our partners, underscore the strength of the resources already in place to support technology-based economic development in the USVI."
Denise Kurg, RTPark's director of facilities and operations, called the selection of an architecture firm "a major step."
"We see this as an excellent opportunity to align the USVI's commitment to technology-based economic development, the requirements of knowledge-based businesses, and the specific expectations of our stakeholders and community, to develop a facility that will be instrumental in fostering economic diversity in the USVI," she said, according to the release.
The building project is a part of the first phase of the RTPark's capital development program. Phase 1 also includes setting up business space within the Global Crossing fiber-switching center on St. Croix, which began in July. The Global Crossing switching center accesses a sea of Internet bandwidth. One of two major data-trunk cables landing on St. Croix, the Global Crossing cable carries the bulk of all communications in and out of the Virgin Islands.
Large portions of Latin American telecommunications flow through that cable, and a portion of it — eight conduits — come ashore north of Frederiksted. Global Crossing's beachhead on St. Croix links the territory to its ring circling South America and, in essence, the whole world. According to Global Crossing, 70 percent of Latin American overseas phone traffic flies over that cable.
Here's the rundown for technically minded people: Each of those eight conduits can handle 64 STM1 connections. An STM1 can transmit 155 megabits per second. That is 100 times the capacity of the better-known T1 connection that many businesses use to connect an entire office building to broadband. The currently available capacity from Global Crossing is equivalent to 51,200 T1s. Sources at Global Crossing say its capacity will increase over the next year.
For people less technically minded, that's a whole bunch. But all that bandwidth does not go all over the island. A small number of businesses connect with Global Crossing at its facility near the cable's beachhead, and can have as much capacity there as they want. Elsewhere on the island, businesses get connections principally through either Innovative's infrastructure or, to a lesser extent, Broadband VI.
The technology park is an economic-development initiative begun by the university that officials hope will ultimately benefit UVI and the territory by providing jobs and tax revenue. The goal is to provide the infrastructure and setting for Internet-based commercial enterprises, which will generate tax and rent revenues and create jobs.
UVI has set aside 10 acres on its St. Croix campus for the park's buildings and infrastructure. Plans for the technology park began in 2001, and in 2002 the Legislature passed a charter and provided initial funding. The park will be able to handle most e-commerce businesses, but not ones that use gigantic amounts of very fast bandwidth, such as a stock exchange. For those specialized functions, businesses need access to the Global Crossing large data trunk cable in Frederiksted. What it will offer to businesses is buildings built with their needs in mind, substantial tax benefits through the Economic Development Commission (EDC) and access to the resources of the university.
The park has received approximately $6 million in legislative appropriations for operating expenses to date. An additional $7 million for capital expenses — such as the construction of the park — was disbursed by the PFA earlier this year. Federal loans and grants subsidize the project, too. The RTPark is not requesting any funds from the Legislature this budget cycle.
Soon after Architectural Alliance finishes the designs, construction should begin, Zumwalt said. He said planners hope to complete construction in late spring of 2009, barring the odd unforeseen circumstance.
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Nov. 12, 2007 -- UVI's Research and Technology Park (RTPark) announced Tuesday the selection of Minneapolis-based architecture firm Architectural Alliance to lead the development of plans and construction drawings for the proposed 20,000-square-foot RTPark facility on UVI's St. Croix campus.
Plans for the facility are expected to be completed within six months, according to a news release issued by RTPark officials.
Architectural Alliance has worked in the Virgin Islands before. Peter Vesterholt, a principal in the company, is descended from the Danes and follows in the territory's Danish architectural design heritage. Architectural Alliance will be assisted in the project by St. Thomas-based Vaccarino Associates, a landscape architecture and design firm instrumental in the original master plan.
Other V.I.-based companies are involved as well, including Scott Andrew Natvig Design, Thompson and Youngross Engineering, Bliss and Nyitray,WEG Engineers, McComb Engineers, BGM Engineers and Surveyors and Kraus Manning.
Global conglomerate Aramark was selected in April to manage the building project.
"The project is being undertaken with sustainable design principles in mind, and we believe this is a first for commercial construction in the USVI," Vesterholt said.
The territory is in a position to take the lead in applying environmentally friendly and sustainable design principles in some new commercial development, said RTPark Director David Zumwalt.
"Our mission is to facilitate sustainable growth, and we embark on this project with an eye on sustainable design," he said.
Incorporating such principles during the earliest design phases is the best way to go, he said. Then implementing them will provide a model for others and state-of-the-art training for the contractors building the park.
"Out in public, the question was raised to me," Zumwalt said in a recent phone interview. "Would proposing something sustainable disqualify someone's company from the project? I would turn that around and say it is an opportunity to bring in sustainable design and by hiring and training local contractors. As more projects come down the road, more companies here will be ready and able to participate. ... The talent and scale of services available here, and the quality of our partners, underscore the strength of the resources already in place to support technology-based economic development in the USVI."
Denise Kurg, RTPark's director of facilities and operations, called the selection of an architecture firm "a major step."
"We see this as an excellent opportunity to align the USVI's commitment to technology-based economic development, the requirements of knowledge-based businesses, and the specific expectations of our stakeholders and community, to develop a facility that will be instrumental in fostering economic diversity in the USVI," she said, according to the release.
The building project is a part of the first phase of the RTPark's capital development program. Phase 1 also includes setting up business space within the Global Crossing fiber-switching center on St. Croix, which began in July. The Global Crossing switching center accesses a sea of Internet bandwidth. One of two major data-trunk cables landing on St. Croix, the Global Crossing cable carries the bulk of all communications in and out of the Virgin Islands.
Large portions of Latin American telecommunications flow through that cable, and a portion of it -- eight conduits -- come ashore north of Frederiksted. Global Crossing's beachhead on St. Croix links the territory to its ring circling South America and, in essence, the whole world. According to Global Crossing, 70 percent of Latin American overseas phone traffic flies over that cable.
Here's the rundown for technically minded people: Each of those eight conduits can handle 64 STM1 connections. An STM1 can transmit 155 megabits per second. That is 100 times the capacity of the better-known T1 connection that many businesses use to connect an entire office building to broadband. The currently available capacity from Global Crossing is equivalent to 51,200 T1s. Sources at Global Crossing say its capacity will increase over the next year.
For people less technically minded, that's a whole bunch. But all that bandwidth does not go all over the island. A small number of businesses connect with Global Crossing at its facility near the cable's beachhead, and can have as much capacity there as they want. Elsewhere on the island, businesses get connections principally through either Innovative's infrastructure or, to a lesser extent, Broadband VI.
The technology park is an economic-development initiative begun by the university that officials hope will ultimately benefit UVI and the territory by providing jobs and tax revenue. The goal is to provide the infrastructure and setting for Internet-based commercial enterprises, which will generate tax and rent revenues and create jobs.
UVI has set aside 10 acres on its St. Croix campus for the park's buildings and infrastructure. Plans for the technology park began in 2001, and in 2002 the Legislature passed a charter and provided initial funding. The park will be able to handle most e-commerce businesses, but not ones that use gigantic amounts of very fast bandwidth, such as a stock exchange. For those specialized functions, businesses need access to the Global Crossing large data trunk cable in Frederiksted. What it will offer to businesses is buildings built with their needs in mind, substantial tax benefits through the Economic Development Commission (EDC) and access to the resources of the university.
The park has received approximately $6 million in legislative appropriations for operating expenses to date. An additional $7 million for capital expenses -- such as the construction of the park -- was disbursed by the PFA earlier this year. Federal loans and grants subsidize the project, too. The RTPark is not requesting any funds from the Legislature this budget cycle.
Soon after Architectural Alliance finishes the designs, construction should begin, Zumwalt said. He said planners hope to complete construction in late spring of 2009, barring the odd unforeseen circumstance.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.