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Proposal made to fund, build data center on grounds of Blue Grass Army Depot

Entrance sign to the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County
Stu Johnson
Entrance sign to the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County

Members of the Kentucky Chemical Demilitarization Citizens’ Advisory Commission and Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board heard a proposal Wednesday to build a data center on the grounds of Richmond’s Blue Grass Army Depot.

The proposal was made by engineering company Bechtel, which would fully fund the center’s design, construction and operation. It would use the existing infrastructure at the Depot and create around 50 IT jobs.

Craig Williams is the Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Chemical Weapons Demilitarization. He made the proposal to the Citizens’ Advisory Commission along with Bechtel executives.

“We have an opportunity here in central Kentucky to put one of these facilities inside a secure area, the Blue Grass Army Depot, and to provide that service to the military, as well as commercial customers, if they so choose,” Williams said.

The proposal comes as chemical weapons disposal operations at the depot wind down. The last of the munitions housed at the depot were destroyed last July, and disposal of secondary waste is expected to continue until 2025.

The U.S. Army released a feasibility study in September pointing out five potential reuses for the depot’s facilities. But Williams says the data center proposal is more immediately ready than any of them.

“The advantage that we have currently is that Bechtel International and Bechtel Enterprises – two major international contracting corporations – have already done the design work for this facility, they have all of the information necessary to move forward with the project very quickly,” Williams said.

Williams says his next step is to draft a letter asking Kentucky’s Congressional representatives for support. If approved by the Pentagon, construction could start as early as 2025 and be operational in 2026.

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Shepherd joined WEKU in June 2023 as a staff reporter. He most recently worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting as General Assignment Reporter. In that role, he collected interviews and captured photos in the northern region of West Virginia. Shepherd holds a master’s degree in Digital Marketing Communication and a bachelor’s in music from West Virginia University.
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