Bowie Computer Center
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Bowie Computer Center

When UNIVAC I was installed at the Census Bureau in 1951, computer operations were housed in the basement and wings of the agency's Federal Office Building 3 in Suitland, MD. Additional computing space was added later to a satellite facility in Charlotte, NC. As technology changed and the power, network, and security needs of the agency increased, the World War II-era (flood-prone) headquarters and satellite space grew increasingly obsolete.

In cooperation with the General Services Administration, officials from the Census Bureau, the city of Bowie, MD, and the University of Maryland (which donated the land), broke ground for a state-of-the-art facility in Bowie, MD, on September 11, 1995.

Upon completion of the facility in 1997, the U.S. Census Bureau's computer operations moved to the Bowie Computer Center. The state-of-the-art facility offers 110,724 square feet of space, of which 90 percent houses computer equipment, at the Maryland Science and Technology Center. Not only is the facility home to the Census Bureau's computer infastructure, but it also houses one of the largest supercomputers in the nation, currently used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for weather forecasting.