New England District officials participated in an event to kick off the construction of a project that will result in a better life environment for unaccompanied Air Force service members.
The ground breaking ceremony for the new $12.6 million Airman dormitory took place March 13 at the construction site on Hanscom Air Force Base. Col. Christopher Barron, New England District Commander, joined Col. Roman Hund, 66th Air Base Group Commander, Chief Master Sargent Patricia Hickey and Allen Shaffi, Principal Contractor for BBIX of Boston, Massachusetts to put shovels to the ground and kick off the project.
“The project calls for the design and construction award of a three-story, 2,376-square-meter dormitory,” said Project Manager Mike Tuttle. “The new dormitory will be constructed near the two existing, 62-year old dormitories on Hanscom.”
According to Tuttle, the dormitory will consist of two 2-bed units, two 3-bed units and 14, 4-bed units. “Each unit will contain a shared common area, kitchen, laundry area and bulk storage,” he said. “Each bedroom unit will have its own full bathroom and closet.”
David Wong, Chief of Engineering, 66th Air Base Group/CENC, served as narrator for the ceremony. “Over the past two years a team of personnel from the 66th Air Base Group, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have worked diligently to plan the replacement for our 62-year-old dormitory,” he said. “When complete, this new dormitory will provide a huge improvement in the quality of life for Hanscom’s Airmen.”
Col. Barron said a large part of New England District’s mission is to support Air Force and Army installations on construction projects both large and small. “We work closely with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Lackland and with our customer, in this case the 66th Air Base Group, to provide the best possible engineering solutions to meet the needs of today’s Airmen,” he said.
The New England District Commander said the District views itself as part of a team and is personally invested in getting the design right, finding skilled and dedicated contractors, executing first-class construction management and being there every step of the way, all the way, through turning over the keys and closing the project out.
Crediting what he called his superb internal team, Col. Barron praised the Military Programs and Construction Division personnel. He said that the District was fortunate to have its most important military customer, Hanscom, right next door. “Hanscom has been, and will be for quite some time, the jewel in our military construction crown,” he said.
The District recently completed a new middle school for the base, according to Col. Barron and future work on the base includes a systems management engineering facility and a research and production facility. “At some point the District plans to move onto Hanscom and renovate the old AFRL facilities,” he said. “As you can see, the relationship between the New England District and Hanscom Air Force Base is strong and deep. Our nation’s Airmen deserve the best, and we’re going to make sure they get it.”
Col. Hund said the ground breaking event was a historic day for the Air Force base. He thanked the New England District for all of their hard work. “We look forward to working closely with you as we build the facility,” he said.
The Colonel said the new facility will be indicative of the support the 66th provides for the Airman at Hanscom. “Right now the facility they are in is not up to the standard we typically have for our Airman,” he said. “This new facility will provide the most up-to-date standards for them.”
After the remarks, Col. Hund, Col. Barron, CMS Hickey, Shaffi and Airman First Class Kenzie Williams, President of the Dorm Council, picked up the ceremonial shovels and broke ground, signifying the beginning of construction and the conclusion of the ceremony.
“One goal of this project is to achieve a U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification,” said Tuttle. “The Designer of Record will integrate sustainable design strategies and features to minimize the energy consumption of the facility; conserve resources; minimize adverse effect to the environment and improve occupant productivity, health and comfort.”
Tuttle also said that the dormitory will be designed and constructed in compliance with the Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection standards and Architectural Barriers Act Guidelines for Accessibility.
Construction on the new dormitory is expected to be completed in August 2018. Once the dormitory is complete, the two existing dormitories will be torn down.