By Jacqueline BoucherMarch 25, 2019
The wait is nearly over for Team Tobyhanna personnel to take up residence in new forever homes or move to temporary swing spaces as part of the depot's modernization strategy.
An experienced group of Installation Services Directorate employees, known for their deft handling of Tobyhanna Army Depot's transformative years, have mapped out a plan of action that will affect hundreds of employees, and several organizations and missions.
In a few weeks, directorate and staff offices will return to the administration building following upgrades to the 65-year-old structure. Resource Management's (RM) new home will be in Wing B, and Public Affairs and the Internal Review and Audit Compliance (IRAC) offices will be located on the lobby.
"The facilities are world class," said Jim Antonelli, RM director. "Our customers will appreciate the new conveniences such as walk-in services for passports, government travel cards, mass transportation and payroll."
Individual work areas are brighter, better organized and upgraded to meet mission requirements. One of the biggest design changes was moving the hallway to the east side of Wing B making it possible for pedestrians to get to Building 1A without cutting through the directorate's office area. In time, Wing C, will house community services, visual information, non-appropriated fund and safety functions.
"The space looks great and proves our leadership is serious about Tobyhanna being a world class facility," said Brian Ross, IRAC office chief.
In May, the Systems Integration and Support Directorate will set up shop down the hall from the new Electronics Maintenance Enclosure. The suite will fill a portion of a large block of real estate, which will also house an exercise studio among other things. The area that is being used as a temporary seating area, will become vacant once the Café 1A project is complete. One suggestion is to make the space available to Sensors Division programs in the event they need to expand.
General Business Specialist Dana Bilotta explained that the next big project will affect several cost centers and about 50 employees.
"Everyone in Building 1C, Bay 1 is moving to a new permanent location, except the Technical Library," Bilotta said. "They are moving to the swing space in Building 2, Bay 3 until the project is complete." Bilotta works in the Installation Services Directorate.
The main focus of the Building 1C modernization will be to create space for a prototype facility. The process of clearing the bay is underway. The Mission Support Division will exchange mezzanine space in one bay for mezzanine space in another. The Test Program Set Repository gets the corner office across the hall from the tool crib, while members of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office (EEO) and Employee Services Center (ESC) transition to the C4ISR Directorate's former office. Perks of the new EEO and ESC office include an outside entrance and designated rest room facilities for drug and alcohol screenings.
"I am very excited to move to the new location," said Eva Granville, alcohol and drug, employee assistance and suicide prevention programs officer. "The location will allow us to expand services and programs to the Tobyhanna community. Although ESC and EEO have different missions I'm looking forward to working together."
Future plans include reimagining the Depot Maintenance of the Future space as an EASL--Engineering, Analysis and Solutions Lab. The EASL will join the Automatic Test Equipment Center, engineering and quality labs into one cohesive unit.
Depot officials are in the early stages of relocating a branch in the Risk Management Division. The project will renovate a small portion of Building 2, Bay 4 to meet requirements specific to the environmental mission. The scheduled completion date will be in 2021.
Environmental experts have called the same offices in Building 7 home for a number of years. According to Engineering Technician Charles Brown, the facility has never been renovated and is nearing its life expectancy as an office space.
"We're always pleased when spaces around the depot are renovated," said Paula Mesaris, branch chief, noting that energy conservation features and sustainability are often included in the remodel designs. "A clean, new space is always desirable."
Additional plans to modernize Building 2 boast new lighting and sprinkler systems, as well as upgraded restrooms. The project includes adding perimeter offices and support spaces for the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES, program.
"So far we're hitting all the timelines," Bilotta said. "There are going to be some big changes to look forward to."
The last phase of the Building 1 multi-year modernization project includes updating the open-bay space located catty-corner to the new 12,000 square foot cafeteria in Building 1A. Café 1A is scheduled to open this year.