McGregor: McLennan County, Waco Support SpaceX’s Plan to Upgrade Testing Facility
Featured Photo (above): SpaceX’s rocket development and testing facility in McGregor, south of Waco, will undergo a range of infrastructure improvements. Image: SpaceX
By Edmond Ortiz
McGregor (McLennan County)—SpaceX is proceeding with its $10 million plan to improve its rocket-testing facility in McGregor, south of Waco.
McLennan County Commissioners Court on June 16 approved a program project agreement between Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and the Waco McLennan County Economic Development Corp.
According to the agreement, the county and city of Waco each will allocate $1 million in grant funds toward SpaceX’s project.
In exchange, SpaceX agrees to invest $10 million in real and personal property improvements.
Planned infrastructure upgrades affect electric reliability, water quality and pressure, noise suppression, and street improvements around the rocket development site at 1 Rocket Road.
SpaceX currently leases 4,280 acres and employs 500 people at the city of McGregor’s industrial park.
Under the new agreement, SpaceX will set up an office in Waco for company personnel. SpaceX must complete the improvements by Dec. 31, 2022.
Interior of the SpaceX rocket development hangar in McGregor, Texas. Image: SpaceX
SpaceX also agrees to continue collaborating with area partners to promote Science Technology Engineering and Math programming, including establishment of a permanent display at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex.
SpaceX had not yet announced the construction delivery method for the improvement project.
VBX members may track this project using ID number: 2020-4C3D.
Billionaire Elon Musk launched SpaceX as a privately held aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company in 2002.
SpaceX purchased aerospace test facilities from Beal Aerospace in McGregor’s industrial park, in the southern part of town, and opened its first rocket development and testing complex.
The company tests all of their rocket engines on 16 test stands. In previous years, Waco and McLennan County together allocated $3 million to SpaceX, which used that initial infusion of local funds to build a new rocket test stand.
SpaceX also tests vehicle structures and systems at the McGregor facility.
Edmond Ortiz is a lifelong San Antonian and a 20-plus-year veteran in local journalism, He previously worked full-time at the San Antonio Express-News, and has been freelancing for outlets such as the Rivard Report.