Published: Nov 03, 2011 2:56 PM EDT
Updated: Nov 03, 2011 2:57 PM EDT

Hendry Co., FL - Hendry County Board of County Commissioners approved the first step for Universal Space Network (USN) to lease 7 acres at Airglades Airport, at their Oct. 25th meeting.  USN will make an investment of several million dollars constructing Global Remote Ground Stations (large communication antennas) and an equipment and communications building.  This project in Hendry County will be their 16th operation around the world.

Universal Space Network (USN) was founded in 1996 by Pete Conrad “Apollo astronaut and third man to walk on the moon” to provide communications services to satellites in space.  USN services spacecraft in Earth’s orbit, orbiting the Moon, and transfer orbits to other planets and comets.   USN and its corporate partners operate the world’s largest commercial satellite ground network service.  USN’s expansion into Hendry County will further enhance USN’s network to provide for our customers growing demands for these services.“USN choosing Hendry County, Florida is significant because USN is an international communications company and this project validates that Hendry County is ready for new development, " said Hendry County Economic Development Council President Gregg Gillman.

USN is projecting to construct an initial concrete pad and  satellite  65 ' tall as well as a 600 SF building to house  communications and electrical equipment.  The area will be fenced and will operate 24 hours a day.  "The site needed to be clear of trees and buildings, needed 3 phase electrical, zoning in place and high speed fiber and AirGlades provided those site qualities,” said Dave Massey, Chief Engineer for USN.  Massey also stated that “Hendry County EDC and Hendry County staff has made the process smooth for a project of this magnitude and the overall customer service to locate in Hendry County has exceeded our expectations.  We have definitely been comfortable from day one working with the EDC and County and we look forward to future investments in Hendry County."

Judi Kennington-Korf, County Administrator stated that she applauds the cooperation between her office, Hendry County EDC, all the utility providers and of course USN for choosing AirGlades.  County Chairman Darrell Harris commented, "projects like this do not happen without many partnerships within the county, it takes everyone pulling together to see a project like this through from beginning to end."

USN is projecting to begin construction at the end of 2011 or early 2012 and will plan to be in operation by May 2012.