Construction coming to McConnell

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Aaron Young
  • 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron commander
Spring construction is about to begin at McConnell. Thanks to an aggressive construction program and strong advocacy by wing leadership, McConnell received over $20 million for maintenance and repair projects during the end of fiscal year 2008.

Additionally, the base received another $7 million for a military construction project in support of Maintenance Group's AFSO21 initiative, streamlining operations with our Reserve servicemembers. In addition to the $43 million of ongoing construction, our engineers are procuring $6 million for construction requirements and preparing for another $14 million as part of the economic stimulus funding.

Several projects have started construction, while others will kick off in the near future. One project is the underground electrical distribution along Kansas Street.

This project hardens our electrical system and protects our power supply from ice storms, animals and aging. The contractor is burying the conduits and encasing them in concrete. Soon the lines will be pulled, then energized. The contractors will eliminate the deteriorated power poles and will install new street lights similar to the ones on the north portion of Kansas St.

There will be short interruptions in electrical service. The engineering flight will notify affected building occupants of outages as techs hook their facilities to the new system.

We are also repairing several of our worn roads which will be milled, patched and overlayed with asphalt on Spicer in housing, Emporia, Coffeyville, parts of Winfield and Manhattan while more substantial repairs, to include storm drainage improvements for Manhattan, Abilene, and Madison.

The parking lots for buildings 732, 750 and 795 will also receive new asphalt overlay. The Abilene project also resolves antiterrorism and force protection and traffic safety issues near building 750. Civil engineers will post road closures and any other construction impacts.

We are also repairing our existing sanitary sewer system replacing two miles of sewer main. The repairs are needed as the existing system failed 11 times in a 15 month period and this is the sole pipeline used to transport McConnell's sewage off base.

You'll also notice road construction starting near the Salina/Kansas intersection as a short artery will connect Kansas St to Wichita St in support of the Kansas Air National Guard's STAMP/STRAPP mission. The new connection will divert heavy truck traffic from the core areas of McConnell.

As a step in minimizing energy waste through energy cost, we've installed a Direct Digital Control system to manage the HVAC units on base. The DDC system allows the base to avoid high utility rates. Other energy projects include installation of ground source heat pumps, high efficiency hangar lighting, and an electrical power factor correction capacitor. The power factor correction project alone will save $70K per year in cost of electricity.

During the next several months there will be an increase of traffic, detours and construction activity as we make improvements. We in the 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron look forward to working with you to make this year's construction program a huge success.

If you have any questions about the construction projects, please contact Mr. Jim Miller, 22nd CES engineering flight chief at 759-3921.

Thanks again for your patience and cooperation as we make Team McConnell a better place to work, live, and most importantly, project Airpower.