Construction has been completed on upgrades to existing World War II-era storage warehouses and the infrastructure around them at Pine Bluff Arsenal.

This military construction project was lead by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District. The Corps awarded the project contract to Carson & Associates, Inc., of Little Rock in January 2010. The project was managed by the Arsenal's Directorate of Public Works.

"When we first put in for this military construction project, it was viewed as a favorable project by the Army. The early planning stages began in 2008 when we received the news that it was funded for construction beginning in 2010," said Mike McCormack, director of Public Works. "There is always a two-year lag in these projects."

The upgrades came out of funding from the fiscal year 2010 Department of Defense-U.S. Army Appropriations budget. These warehouses are used to store ammunition and explosive components that support the Arsenal's joint service ammunition mission.

Upgrades on the buildings consisted of installing new fire protection and detection systems, lightning protection systems, new roofs, doors, docks and lighting, improvement of roads and drives, power systems, water supply systems and other related work.

"From the Corps' perspective, this project was very challenging," said Greg Yada, project manager with the Little Rock District. "In spite of several challenges, I thought the project was successful in many ways. This project was my first to work with PBA, and I learned of the Arsenal's teamwork and leadership quickly."

Yada said that one of the first challenges was to nail down the specific project scope. He said this ranged from learning the size of the driveways to how many buildings were going to be turned over to the contractor during each phase of the project.

"A key success with the project was with the contractor, Carson and Associates. They were very flexible in working with the government team in negotiating time and cost changes," said Yada. "They worked with unexpected challenges and didn't have any lost days due to accidents."

Lavara Henry, chief of the storage division for the Arsenal's Material Management directorate said that all parties being able to communicate in a timely manner minimized mission disruption when buildings were turned over for renovation.

"This project enables the Arsenal to accomplish its mission of manufacturing and storing ammunition along with their components in a safe and efficient manner," said Henry.