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Posted 10/3/2018

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By AnnMarie R. Harvie
USACE, New England District


Although still in the very early planning stages, the New England District is moving forward with its plan to move to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts.  The District is currently headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, not far from the base. The District moved from the dilapidated Waltham Federal Center to Concord Park on March 16, 1998.

In an e-mail sent out to District employees, Aug. 29, Scott Acone, Deputy District Engineer for Programs/Project Management, wrote that the District has made a lot of progress with layouts and is wrapping up any last adjustments of office spaces. 

In the e-mail, Acone shared some of the current certainties about the new headquarters building.  Cubicle and office sizes will be somewhat smaller than what team members currently have at Concord Park.  However, there will be more natural light in all the offices and cubicles in the new building than what Concord Park currently offers.  “Our goal is that wherever you sit, when you stand at your desk, you can see outside,” wrote Acone.

According to the e-mail, to maximize light and air flow, the height of the cubicle walls will be lower than what is currently at Concord Park.  Acone notes that when the New England District was located in Waltham, Massachusetts, there were no cubicles and that the Waltham set up led to more collaboration among teammates.

The new headquarters will have many open rooms with varied uses.  Some of these will be phone rooms, which can be used by up to two people for private phone calls; collaboration space that can hold four to eight people; conference rooms that will accommodate eight to 16 people; and finally the large training/meeting space that can hold more than 30 people at a time.  “No matter where you sit, you’ll be very close to these spaces as they’re integrated throughout the building,” Acone wrote.

Scott Michalak is the Senior Program Manager for the new headquarters.  He said that the District has taken some of the best practices from the recently relocated Baltimore District and is using them for New England’s new headquarters.  “We are incorporating those practices with our Architect/Engineer, Symmes, Maini and McKee Associates’ vast experience renovating office space for a wide variety of professional clients, to make our new offices professional, welcoming and efficient,” he said.

Knowing that the space will be smaller so far ahead of time gives New England district team members time to clean out their cubicles and to assess their hard copy file needs.  “We will have less hard copy file space in the new building,” wrote Acone in his e-mail.  “We are evaluating the best way to get our critical documents scanned and filed electronically but we also need everyone to start reducing your paper footprint.”

Acone recommends recycling excessive additional copies of project paperwork.  He said there will be a District-wide clean up day some time in fiscal year 2019.  “This will be a day where all Concord Park employees will have their duty station in Concord Park and will come prepared to go through old files,” he wrote.

More information about the progress of the new headquarters building will be shared with the District when it becomes available.