News: National Guard construction projects: out with the old, in with the new
Story by Sgt. Edward Eagerton
CAMP DENALI, Alaska - Major construction and renovation projects are underway for the Alaska National Guard during the short construction season here in Alaska.
The current projects are designed to upgrade or replace aging structures and fulfill the square footage requirements needed by many of the units in the National Guard, according to Lt. Col. Joel Gilbert, construction facilities manager of the Construction Facilities Maintenance Office, Alaska Army National Guard.
“If we’re going to provide a good training environment for our soldiers, we need to get rid of stuff that’s 60-plus years old, that’s leaking and dripping and provide quality environments for them,” Gilbert explained.
Many of the buildings targeted for demolition date back to World War II, he said.
Replacing these facilities will not only be beneficial for the Guardsmen but will also reduce the environmental impact and utility costs.
Some of the new buildings being constructed include an addition to the National Guard armory on Camp Denali, as well as a new physical fitness center and warm storage units on Camp Carroll, all located on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
“We’re also looking at re-insulating the hangar doors on Hangar One and Hangar Two,” said Maj. Ryan Feil, design and project manager of the CFMO, Alaska Army National Guard. “That will help with the energy efficiency of the building.”
The renovation projects include replacing roofs, updating fire suppression systems, and upgrading roads and parking areas, Feil said.
These projects extend out from Ketchikan and Sitka to Nome and Bethel.
“We also have a study that we’re conducting on the life cycles of the facilities, which is going to help us forecast and put projects into place,” said 1st Lt. Chris Dailey, a business manager with the CFMO, Alaska Army National Guard.
“Our overall mission in the CFMO is to provide and maintain quality facilities for our soldiers,” Gilbert said. “It ultimately goes back to if we are doing our job, then nobody should realize we exist. Soldiers should be able to come into their work area, have a clean well lit and warm environment to work in. They shouldn't be crammed into space and should have their required amount of space to perform their job.”