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Artist rendition of the Northrop Grumman facility designed by ICON Architectural Group at the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park.

Northrop Grumman breaks ground on ICON Architectural Group designed facility at Grand Sky UAS Park

Grand Forks, North Dakota, November 5, 2015 — Northrop Grumman, one of the nation’s leading defense contractors, has broken ground on its new facility designed by ICON Architectural Group, located at the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

The $10 million, 36,000 square foot facility sits on 10 acres of land, leased on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. The new facility is divided into a three-phase project that will include an office building, a hangar and then additional office space. Northrop Grumman anticipates occupation of the first phase office building by September 2016.

The facility will consist of a two-story office building with office space for 100 employees. It also features a 90-seat auditorium in addition to the two-story lobby and event spaces. The building also features a 70-foot-tall communication tower, which is integral to the facility’s structure. Furthermore, the 20,000 square foot hangar was planned with future expansion in mind. Currently, the ICON Architectural Group building design is being reviewed for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Certification, or LEED Certification, from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The ground breaking ceremony, held on October 15, 2015, featured North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, Senator John Hoeven and Senator Heidi Heitkamp, alongside members of ICON Architectural Group, Air Force personnel, Red River Valley advocates, community leaders and several Northrop Grumman executives.

ICON Architectural Group has been involved with the development of the Grand Sky project from its beginnings as the master plan architect for the entire site. ICON is also in the process of designing the visitor center for the development. Also, affiliated with ICON Architectural Group, Unmanned Aerial Facilities by ICON (iconUAF) is developing facilities at Grand Sky with the goal of providing office, lab and workshop space for smaller UAS companies which are suppliers to larger companies that want a place at the park but can’t afford to build their own space.

Grand Sky is located adjacent to the Grand Forks Air Force Base, just 20 minutes west of Grand Forks, a community home to 60,000 people and the University of North Dakota. As a whole, the site is a 217-acre unmanned flight application development park and collaborative lab for UAS operations, sensor technologies, defense systems and training. It is the United States’ first commercial UAS business and aviation park.

As the Park’s first and anchor tenant, Northrop Grumman will establish a hub for the company’s unmanned aircraft systems supporting research and development, aircrew and maintenance training and other operations. The new facility will further solidify Northrop Grumman’s presence in the state as its second location, the first being its manufacturing site located in New Town, which has been in continuous operation for 45 years. Regarding the company’s plans for Grand Sky, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said, “None of this was going to happen without an anchor tenant. Northrop Grumman has really stepped up and made a major investment … It’s great to see it all come together.”

Janis Pamiljans, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Unmanned Systems Division, said, “[This] groundbreaking is a key step forward in North Grumman’s partnership with North Dakota. We are proud to start this construction project and expand on our long-term commitment to this state and its advancement in UAS technologies. The important work that will be done here will support the evolving needs of our customers in the defense of our nation and allies.”

About: ICON Architectural Group was formed in 2002 and has since established itself as one of the mainstay architectural firms in the upper Midwest. Based out of Grand Forks, North Dakota, ICON has not only worked extensively within the regional community, but for clients nation-wide as well. The ICON approach is to Listen, Understand, Communicate and Suggest as the firm works with clients to create innovation design and building solutions in a timely and affordable fashion. Visit the ICON website by clicking here.


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