ORLANDO-San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. has broken ground on a planned 150,000-sf high-tech campus that will headquarter the Fortune 500 company’s Applied Software Systems Engineering Technology Group at Central Florida Research Park next to the University of Central Florida in east Orange County.

The first 85,000-sf, three-story building is scheduled for completion in February. The second 65,000-sf structure is tentatively set to break ground in 2004.

SAIC officials couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to learn the construction cost of the project. But area construction industry estimators feel the hard cost of the build-to-suit venture will be at least $150 per sf or a total $23 million.

The campus will also house the SAIC employees currently working out of four separate office buildings at the park. The employee-owned company has an Orlando work force of 300.

The company’s campus investment follows a $40 million July contract award from the Army’s Simulation, Training and Instrumentation Command (STRICOM) in Orlando to install a new voice and data communications system for the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, CA. That assignment will take three years to complete, SAIC says in a prepared statement.

The company has been expanding elsewhere as well. At Oak Ridge, TN, where SAIC has been part of the high-tech community for 25 years, the company moved its Southeastern business unit headquarters to a newly created campus housing 875 employees. SAIC also opened new offices in Knoxville, TN and Charlotte.

For its first fiscal quarter ended April 30, the company reported revenue of $1.44 billion, up 16% over $1.24 billion in the same 2000 period. SAIC’s operating income was $70 million versus $63 million a year ago.

Consolidated net income was $9 million in the first quarter compared to $1.07 billion in the same period last year. But excluding $1.01 billion or after-tax gain from the sale of Network Solutions Inc. shares and SAIC’s investment in Solect Technology Group, prior year net income was $58 million.

In a prepared statement, the company says the largest component of the $49 million year-over-year decrease was a non-operating, non-cash investment impairment charge of $43 million related to certain investments in the company’s $1.2 billion public investment portfolio.

Although it is not traded on a conventional exchange, SAIC directors re-established the price for the company’s class A common in July at $31.37 per share, up $1.17 or 3.9% from $30.20 in the previous quarter. The stock is up 4.3% from last year at this time.

Crescent Resources Inc., the real estate division of Charlotte-based Duke Energy, is developing the SAIC campus. Little & Associates Architects Inc. of Charlotte is the project architect.

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