Mountain View Voice

News - July 15, 2011

House committee kills Hangar One funding

by Daniel DeBolt

Hopes for federal money to save Moffett Field's historic Hangar One were dashed on Tuesday when it was announced that the House Appropriations Committee removed $32.8 million for new Hangar One siding from NASA's 2012 budget.

The move followed a NASA Inspector General report which criticized the NASA Ames Research Center request for the $32.8 million when more "mission critical" NASA projects would be delayed.

The report that accompanied the decision said committee members understood that NASA is "considering additional options for the renovation and use of the hangar," that may not involve NASA's re-siding of it. NASA officials said last month that the agency will consider giving Hangar One to another government agency and will even consider demolishing it entirely.

The recommendation against the Hangar One funding is likely to be passed by both houses of Congress, preservationists say.

Bill Berry, former NASA Ames official and co-chair of the Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board, said in an email that the request would likely be denied in 2013 as well, given the political climate in Washington D.C. The board will meet Thursday evening to discuss Hangar One, and may vote to send a letter in support of Hangar One to the Inspector General and local Congress members.

Hangar One is being stripped of its toxic siding this year and this week the metal skeleton underneath became exposed for the first time. Preservationists hope it won't remain that way for long, but at this point, it could remain a bare skeleton for years.

The idea of the city taking on ownership of hangar has gained support from some preservationists, but city officials have yet to make any visible action in that direction since Mayor Jac Siegel's comments last month that the city would certainly study the idea if asked to by federal legislators.

The RAB meets 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at the Mountain View Senior Center, 266 Escuela Avenue.

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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