IBM Tucson prelude and beginning

Page 2

Young GPD Tucson began to gain the physical stature of an IBM site. Early in May of 1978, employees moved into Buildings 002 and 003 at the airport location, and limited manufacturing operations were launched. It was only three weeks later that the first manufactured units -- three reconditioned 3420 Model 6 tape drive units -- were shipped to customers. The leased space at 4400 E. Broadway was vacated that summer, and occupancy of the remaining facilities at the airport site -- Buildings 001 and 002 -- was completed.

IBM Tucson prelude and beginning

First customer shipment

First customer shipment
First customer shipment
The rest of the year was punctuated by varied activity, including announcement of plans for construction and lease of the airport annex (Building 008), just northwest of the airport location. At about this time, GPD Tucson was assigned product responsibility for the 3800 printing subsystem, and the laboratory made its first new product announcement -- the 8809 magnetic tape unit.

GPD Tucson entered 1979 at a full gallop. The employee population would climb to 3,000 by year's end. To keep pace, the company leased additional temporary space, including four floors of the Great Western Bank Building at 5151 E. Broadway and 990 square meters (11,000 square feet) at 7840 E. Broadway.

Particularly significant was initial occupancy of the main site on Monday, August 6, 1979. A contingent of employees, most of them new arrivals from Boulder, moved into the first lab facility (Building 061) and a portion of one manufacturing building (Building 030). Total space occupied covered 15,300 square meters (170,000 square feet). The first group of employees set the stage for a series of subsequent moves that would eventually bring the new complex's 153,000 square meters (1.7 million square feet) up to full occupancy more than a year later.

The opening chapters of GPD Tucson's development were drawing to a close. The site had grown from infancy to maturity in an incredibly short time -- barely more than three years.

Friday, October 17, 1980 ... Dedication Day at the main site. Time to stand back and admire what had been wrought by imagination, determination and just plain hard work.


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