The Dunn Road facility will house the National Personnel Records Center, part of the NARA's Federal Records Center Program. The Center contains 56 million personnel files of twentieth century military service veterans, and 25 million Federal civilian personnel files dating from the early twentieth century to the 1970s. All of these files are designated as permanent, historic records. Each year, a portion of the military personnel files are transferred from military services' ownership to the legal custody of the National Archives, when 62 years has elapsed since an individual's separation from service. Civilian personnel files will also be accessioned into National Archives custody in the near future.
In addition to records storage, the new facility will contain public research rooms, an archival preservation laboratory, public meeting rooms, and staff offices. "The new facility is specially designed for the storage of and access to archival records," said Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein. "It will meet strict standards for fire prevention, security, temperature and humidity control, and air filtration. And that's just for records! Staff and public visitors will also enjoy comfortable work and research areas, ample parking, and public bus service."
The Dunn Road facility will be the busiest National Archives storage and research operation, answering over one million requests annually for access to or copies of records. Requestors seek to verify service, apply for benefits, obtain medals, research medical conditions, and conduct historical and genealogical research. Most requestors are military veterans or their family members. The vast majority of requests arrive in the mail or via NARA's eVetRecs web site. On-site visitation has been increasing, a trend that will likely continue at the new facility.
Six hundred National Archives staff will work at the new building. Most staff will transfer from the Page Avenue facility and some from the Winnebago Road facility, both of which will close. Several other Federal agencies will also use a small amount of space in the new building for personnel records related work.
The Dunn Road facility will be the newest of NARA's 34 locations, including 4 in the Washington, DC, area, 18 regional archives and records centers, and 12 Presidential Libraries.
GSA announced separately that it had awarded a development contract to Barry Real Estate Companies, Inc. of Atlanta to build the Dunn Road facility. Skanska Construction of Atlanta will partner with Tarlton Corporation of St. Louis to construct the 474,690 square-foot facility. HKS, Inc. of Dallas is the lead architectural firm. 1829 Dunn Road is located in northeast St. Louis County, adjacent to Interstate 270 and Highway 367.