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Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel held a ceremonial groundbreaking for Building 201, which is shown in this rendering and will open in the spring of 2020.
Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel held a ceremonial groundbreaking for Building 201, which is shown in this rendering and will open in the spring of 2020. (courtesy image)

Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory broke ground Tuesday on a new $184 million research and development building on its Laurel campus.

The 263,000-square-foot "Building 201" is expected to be completed in spring 2020. It will house about 650 staff members developing some of the lab's most innovative technologies.

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"What we really wanted to do was design a building that supported cross-disciplinary collaboration," said Jim Schatz, head of the Research and Exploratory Development Department.

The Applied Physics Laboratory routinely provides research and development for the federal Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the National Security Agency and NASA.

Schatz's department is working on a range of projects, including a brain computer interface device that can be worn like a baseball cap and methods for controlling corrosion, a costly problem for the U.S. Navy.

Labs and offices in the building will be centered around a four-story atrium that lets in natural light and offers open space for scientists of different fields to collaborate.

The building will also include a 200-person conference room, a second conference room with break-out areas, STEM education facilities and a coffee shop.

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