By John Budnik
USACE - Alaska District
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District turned over a new dormitory to the Air Force Dec. 21 at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.
Building 2205 is state-of-the-art, three-stories and will accommodate 168 enlisted personnel. The facility was planned to support Red-Flag Alaska – a series of field training exercises in a simulated combat environment for a large amount of permanent and temporary personnel. However, an anticipated influx of about 1,200 airmen following the arrival of 54 F-35A Joint Strike Fighter jets in 2020 made the additional living quarters a critical need.
“Each resident will have their own bedroom and bathroom,” said David Wilson, project manager with the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron at Eielson. “The building is set up in quads with a central kitchen, living area, washer and dryer. Each one is like a four-bedroom apartment.”
In order to build the $33 million residence, the Corps demolished two existing facilities that were built in the 1950s. Lead-contaminated soil from old firing ranges located in the basement of one of the existing dorms presented a unique challenge to engineers, said Maj. John Hammett, project engineer in the Corps’ Northern Area Office.
About 130 cubic yards of soil was excavated and shipped for remediation outside Alaska. Coordination with state and federal environmental agencies was crucial to ensuring the site was properly prepared and safe for future use, he said.
The contractor continued other construction activities around the contaminated site while the cleanup effort was being synchronized. This effort helped keep the project schedule on target, Wilson said.
Construction included an arctic utilidor, parking lot, roadway and several other site improvements.
“I would be proud to have my child live there,” Hammett said.
Airmen from the 354th Security Forces and 354th Maintenance squadrons will be the dorm’s first occupants and are scheduled to move in spring 2017.