CREST AT WOODMEN PHOTO 1 (copy)

Scientific Applications & Research Associates Inc. has moved its Colorado springs offices to the Crest at Woodmen, the onetime Current USA campus southeast of Woodmen Road and Interstate 25 that was purchased by a Houston real estate company in 2015. The move gives the California-based defense contractor room to expand and accommodate the 50 employees it plans to hire in the next five years. RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE

A California-based defense contractor has moved its Colorado Springs offices to the former campus of Current USA to give it room to expand and accommodate the 50 to 100 additional employees it plans to hire in the next five years.

Scientific Applications & Research Associates Inc. of Cypress, Calif., moved its offices and 110 employees earlier this month from downtown Colorado Springs to 130,000 square feet it has leased in the Crest at Woodmen, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC announced Tuesday. The employee-owned company opened a one-person office in the Springs in 2006 in a Black Forest barn, later moving to an office near the Colorado Springs Airport before relocating again to the downtown area.

The 77-acre Crest at Woodmen campus still houses Current USA, a mail-order and online greeting card manufacturer. 

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"We are delighted but not surprised by our continued expansion in the Colorado Springs area," said Scientific Applications CEO Parviz Parhami. "The Colorado Springs area is business-friendly, family-oriented and offers an affordable cost of living — making it possible to hire and relocate professionals from other parts of the country. We fully expect to continue our rapid expansion in Colorado Springs in the coming years."

Scientific Applications had operated a rapid prototyping facility and high-energy electromagnetics lab in a 70,000-square-foot warehouse at 621 S. Sierra Madre St. The company's senior scientists and engineers work with the federal government and other contractors to "harden" U.S. power systems and infrastructure from electromagnetic interference. The Springs office is headed by Scientific Applications President Scott Eldridge and mostly focuses on pulsed power and directed energy, radio frequency electromagnetic pulse engineering and testing and manufacturing a variety of specialized products.

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"Our team has been engaged in discussions with SARA regarding their growth plans for several years and we could not be more pleased that SARA has chosen to expand their operations in our community," Chamber CEO Dirk Draper said in the release. "Their highly technical and innovative work is further evidence of the critical, cutting-edge technologies that are being developed and implemented out of Colorado Springs."

Scientific Applications was started in California in 1989 to "harness the creativity, innovation and entrepreneur spirit of engineers and scientists in a small business setting, where agility and flexibility are paramount," according to the company's website. It provides research and development services to military and commercial customers and received a $100 million contract in March for research and development on emerging munition technologies and integrated weapon demonstrations. It is not related to defense giant Science Applications International Corp.

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