there is a mysterious, five-story, underground facility that the Army Corps of Engineers was going to oversee for the Israel Defense Forces.
It was called “Site 911” and was to include the usual stuff: shock-resistant doors, protection from nonionizing radiation and such. Only U.S. firms could bid on the contract, a corps notice said. The structure will be on an air force base near Tel Aviv and the guards have to be Israeli air force vets.
Non-Israeli workers can only come from “the U.S., Canada, Western Europe countries, Poland” and a few other countries, including China, the notice said, which would at least save them the trouble of hacking our computers to get the info. “The employment of Palestinians is also forbidden,” the notice said.
When Pincus asked the Pentagon about the purpose of Site 911, he was told that only an Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman could provide an answer.
Well, we don’t know what it is, but we now know how much the building and six other above-ground buildings are going to cost: just a bit over $62 million, according to FBO Daily.
On February 13 a contract was awarded to Conti Corp Federal Services in Edison, NJ to complete the project.
Their bid of almost $63 million came in well below the possible $100 million set aside for the project.
Conti’s bid went toward building five underground levels and six above ground buildings that they have 900 days from February 13 to complete.
The U.S. government then issued another request for proposal December 28 to construct Site 81 Phase II. Also in Israel, also partially underground, this project calls for up to $100,000,000 to refinish six underground facilities and some currently occupied surface buildings.
Walter Pincus from the Washington Post fleshed out the original Proposal construction project, called Site 911 in November.
That nearly $63 million project awarded to Conti can be built only by workers from specific countries with proper security clearances.
When complete the well-guarded compound will have five levels buried underground and six additional outbuildings on the above grounds, within the perimeter. At about 127,000 square feet, the first three floors will house classrooms, an auditorium, and a laboratory — all wedged behind shock resistant doors — with radiation protection and massive security.
Only one gate will allow workers entrance and exit during the project and that will be guarded by only Israelis.
The bottom two floors are smaller, according to the full line of schematics uploaded to the Army’s Acquisition Business Web Site, and possibly used for equipment and storage.
As impressive as the American design features already are, Ada Karmi-Melamede Architects will decorate the entire site with rocks it chooses, but are paid for by the contractor, and provide three outdoor picnic tables.
Pincus also found this detailed description of the mezuzahs that will adorn every door in the facility:
These mezuzas, notes the [US Army] Corps, “shall be written in in-erasable ink, on . . . un-coated leather parchment” and be handwritten by a scribe “holding a written authorization according to Jewish law.” The writing may be “Ashkenazik or Sepharadik” but “not a mixture” and “must be uniform.”
Also, “The Mezuzahs shall be proof-read by a computer at an authorized institution for Mezuzah inspection, as well as manually proof-read for the form of the letters by a proof-reader authorized by the Chief Rabbinate.” The mezuza shall be supplied with an aluminum housing with holes so it can be connected to the door frame or opening. Finally, “All Mezuzahs for the facility shall be affixed by the Base’s Rabbi or his appointed representative and not by the contractor staff.”
Pincus finds the “complex facility with site development challenges” requiring services that include “electrical, communication, mechanical/ HVAC [heating, ventilation, air conditioning] and plumbing” requirements telling; and along with the fact that the contractor must posses a U.S. or Israeli Secret Security Clearance, he believes this phase to be a secure command center.
Pulitzer Prize winning, Yale grad, born in 1932 whose worked intelligence and media in D.C. since 1955 closes his piece with these shadowy words.
“The purpose of Site 911 is [un] clear.” Our calls to the project leader for Site 81, Michael Pearson, sent us to a disconnected number and we are awaiting an email reply.