By Mr. Samuel Vaughn (AMC)April 3, 2008
Fueled by base realignment and closure, construction is booming at Redstone Arsenal.
Funds have been appropriated for 13 projects, most BRAC-related, totaling $543 million. A typical year would have $40 million to $50 million worth.
"It's a phenomenal amount of construction but we're up to the challenge," Joey Skinner, chief of the master planning division in the Garrison's Directorate of Public Works, said.
"That's a little over half a billion dollars in construction we've got going on," public works director Joe Davis said. "That's pretty impressive."
Some are under construction and others are being designed. Most are for newly arriving organizations while others are Department of Justice-related or congressional additions.
"I would say all of this will be completed by 2011," Skinner said.
John Green and Kevin Burleson, Military Construction, Army program managers, are assigned projects within the master planning division.
Said Green, "This'll be the biggest amount of construction we'll probably see unless there's another BRAC. And so far we have not had any trouble with either primes or subcontractors. The work force in this region has been able to support the construction projects."
The biggest previous construction project was the Sparkman Center, which cost about $118 million. The main part was built from 1992-94 and an addition for BRAC 1995 was constructed from 1995-97.
"In the amount of pure dollar expenditures this (current construction) is five times the cost of the Sparkman Center," Davis said. "And we're doing it all at one time. The Sparkman Center was spread out over a few years. Obviously we're looking forward to the challenge. It's obviously the biggest thing that any of us have experienced."
Davis, who has been here 22 years, points out the level of experience of the people working these projects. This includes his organization, Corps of Engineers area engineer Steve Arendale and Ron Kalifeh, project manager at the Corps' Mobile district for Redstone construction.
"We've been the same team since the early '90s working on construction projects out here and that will go a long way in making us successful," Davis said. "That really is the key to success with all this work going on at one time."
Ongoing projects include the following:
Aca,!Ac Headquarters for the 2nd Recruiting Brigade should be finished by August. This $8.2 million BRAC project, at the corner of Aerobee and Vincent roads, represents 30,000 square feet. It's for 114 people arriving from Fort Gillem, Ga. This also includes the 2nd Medical Recruiting Battalion.
Aca,!Ac Missile Defense Agency, phase 3 of the Von Braun Complex, is a BRAC project for 2,649 people, most arriving from the Washington, D.C. area. "This is by itself the largest of the construction projects we've had on Redstone," Skinner said. "It's going to be around 850,000 square feet." This $227 million project will include an auditorium, cafeteria, fitness center, and office space. The first phase of this project should be finished by April 2010, for 800-1,000 people, and the second phase should be done by October 2010. A contract has been awarded and work should begin by the end of April.
Aca,!Ac Army Materiel Command headquarters, for the BRAC move from Fort Belvoir, Va., will be built on Martin Road (at the site of the current Photo Lab building 4489). This $128 million project represents 412,000 square feet. The two buildings, probably adjoining, will house AMC's 1,340 people and 340 others from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command. A contract should be awarded sometime in June.
Aca,!Ac Rotary Wing Center is a BRAC project for the newcomers from the Aviation Technical Test Center at Fort Rucker. This $46 million project includes a hangar and aircraft parking at the Airfield, and a headquarters building on Martin Road. It's for 373 people. Officials hope to award a contract by December.
Aca,!Ac School Age Services, a $6 million project on Goss Road, should be finished by August.
Aca,!Ac A child development center, for 60 children, will be built for $2 million on Mills Road. A contract has not been awarded; officials are writing the request for proposals.
Aca,!Ac Another child development center project, for 124 children, has awarded a $4 million contract and construction should begin by May.
Aca,!Ac Software Engineering Directorate construction has begun for the first phase of its building and represents $20 million. It should be finished by midsummer.
Aca,!Ac The second phase for SED has been proposed and represents $21 million.
Aca,!Ac A project for the FBI is under construction for $3.5 million. It's called the Secure Training Facility and will be incorporated into the Hazardous Devices School off Redstone Road. Completion is expected in July.
Aca,!Ac Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, a multi-agency facility, will be constructed off Patton Road. Some $45 million is currently appropriated with an additional $165 million anticipated in fiscal 2009. Projected contract award is December 2009 with completion in March 2012.
Aca,!Ac A classroom and river range is under construction for a new customer here, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. This $3.5 million project should be finished in July.
Aca,!Ac The ATF's National Center for Explosives Training & Research will be built for $28.5 million in the old "Tin City" Quonset hut area off Corporal Drive. A contract will be awarded in May with projected completion in August 2010.
Master planners have a wish list for more construction in future years including a building here for the 600 members of the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space who are working in leased space off-post on Wynn Drive, and widening Martin Road from Rideout Road all the way to Zeirdt Road.
"We want to start looking past BRAC," Skinner said. "There are over $150 million (in projects) that we are working to getting approval for construction following BRAC."