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NASA program will remain at Fairmont site

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation (IV&V) program will remain in Fairmont, officials said Tuesday.

NASA’s future in North Central West Virginia had been in doubt ever since the agency’s Office of Inspector General issued a July report recommending that the program consider moving to the Goddard Space Flight Center near Washington, D.C., to reduce its operations and maintenance costs.

The IV&V facility in Fairmont employs 45 NASA civil servants as well as about 200 contractors.

The report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General concluded that the IV&V program was paying too much in operations and maintenance at its current building, located at the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont.

The building — which NASA has occupied since it completed construction in 1994 — is owned by the WVU Research Corporation, part of a federal appropriations agreement orchestrated in 1992 by Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Rep. Alan B. Mollohan.

The July report recommended the IV&V program either relocate or work with WVU to trim the cost of occupying the facility.

On Tuesday, IV&V Director Gregory Blaney said NASA leaders have officially opted to keep the program where it is.

“The agency has made a decision, and we just sent a decision letter to the (Office of Inspector General), and that decision is to stay as we are … and negotiate with WVU to reduce costs…

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