Military Construction: In the Southeast, This Market is One of the Few Marching Forward
Military project starts remain strong throughout the four-state region. But how long can it last?
From South Florida to North Carolina, construction workers are busy at military bases, creating a bright spot in an otherwise slow marketplace.
“2010 will probably be a busier year than 2009,” says Kent Long, senior vice president of Balfour Beatty Construction of Plantation, Fla. “[Military work] is the only positive light I can see out there right now, particularly in the Southeast. We were fortunate to have a concentration of Base Realignment and Closure bases.”
Balfour Beatty has three current BRAC-related projects, which were funded in 2009, and Long says American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars are enabling some projects to be built sooner than expected.
“We find there is still quite a bit of military work coming out, both design-build and design-bid-build, but there’s a lot more competition than in the past,” says Darren Williams, senior vice president of operations for Walton Construction Co. in Harahan, La.
Walton began construction in fall 2008 on an $80-million, 365,000-sq-ft, design-build, four-building barracks facility, headquarters and central energy plant at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, S.C., for the Department of the Navy–Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast.
Architecture partner VOA Associates of Orlando, Fla., designed the structural-precast buildings to achieve LEED-Silver certification. They are hardened for force protection and to withstand hurricanes and are topped with standing-seam metal roofs. Completion is scheduled for 2011.
BRAC Impacts Being Felt Fort Bragg in North Carolina gained approximately 4,300 people as a result of the BRAC program, and that’s driving significant development there.
SchenkelShultz Architecture of Orlando and Balfour Beatty teamed up to build a BRAC-related, $37.6-million, 200,000-sq-ft elementary and middle school at the on-post Picerne Military Housing development at Fort Bragg. Woolpert in Orlando provided civil engineering.
Balfour Beatty began clearing the site late in 2009 and expects to start construction in the spring, wrapping up 14 months later. The structure combines structural steel, load-bearing masonry walls and tilt-up panels with a brick appearance. The schools feature a barrel-vaulted roof and will meet LEED-Silver certification requirements. The project for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District is the first military school designed by ShenkelShultz.
“A year or so we started hearing the federal government had significant plans to build quite a number of new schools, and that is one of our specialties,” says Dave Torbert, a partner with SchenkelShultz.
At Fort Benning, Ga., which was slated to gain 9,839 additional people, Balfour Beatty is constructing a $39-million, 300,000-sq-ft reception station and barracks for Army infantry troops. Woolpert’s Dayton, Ohio, offices, in association with Niles Bolton Associates of Atlanta, designed the buildings to achieve LEED-Silver certification. Completion of the Corps of Engineers Savannah District, design-build project is scheduled for October 2011.
And Balfour Beatty is working on a $36-million Starship Barracks renovation at Fort Jackson, S.C., scheduled to receive 615 new people. The 275,000-sq-ft Corps Mobile, Ala., District project includes converting existing dining facilities into training classrooms; renovating classrooms, administration areas, sleeping bays and cadre quarters; expanding the battalion headquarters administration building; and constructing a running track and exercise area on an adjacent site.
Woolpert of Atlanta serves as design partner on the project, which is expected to wrap up in 2012.
Prototypes and Modeling BRPH of Melbourne, Fla., designed a $7-million, Child Development Center at Fort Gordon, Ga., drawing on a standardized prototype developed by the Corps of Engineers Center of Standardization while reflecting the ambiance of the base.
“When a family is relocated, the children don’t feel the impact so much because they feel they are going into an environment that doesn’t change much,” says Robert Smedley, BRPH project manager for the Child...