The APG Garrison Directorate of Public Works continues to move forward with efforts to reduce the installation’s facility footprint by more than 4.5 million square feet.
After several years of funding cuts, the installation is making progress toward removing buildings deemed unfit for reuse or renovation.
According to Pete Raymond, program manager for DPW’s Facility Reduction Plan, APG is halfway through the FY14 list of building demolitions at APG North (Aberdeen) and APG South (Edgewood), reducing the installation’s footprint by 536,247 square feet this year alone.
“There were delays, but now we’re picking up momentum,” Raymond said.
That progress is visible across APG North, as empty lots replace what used to be vacant buildings. There is only one facility left on APG North to be demolished this year, Raymond said: Bldg. 314, the old Civilian Personnel Advisory Center headquarters.
On APG South (Edgewood), program efforts continue to improve and enhance the appearance of the entrance to the post on Hoadley Road.
“Demolishing E5026 is a command priority,” Raymond explained. “It’s highly visible once you come through the Route 24 gate, so we’re working to take it down and improve the appearance of that area of Edgewood.”
The demolition of Building E5026, along with the painting of Building E1890 and the exterior improvements to Building E5027 greatly improved the visual aesthetic when driving onto APG South. The construction of the new Ceremonial Gate, installation of marquee signs, and refurbishment of the Edgewood Arsenal Memorial on Magnolia Road are other examples of aesthetic improvements that have been completed.
He said APG is working diligently with Installation Management Command Headquarters to secure funding to reduce excess facilities on the installation now and into the future.
Facilities are considered excess when their existence no longer fulfills the needs of the mission. This can include buildings outdated to the point that modernizing them would not be cost-effective or buildings whose original mission no longer exists and they can’t be repurposed.
While excess facilities may be unoccupied and require fewer resources, the garrison is still charged with sustaining them. Long-term sustainment costs more than demolition, so facility reduction will save the Army money in the long run. That cost savings can be redirected toward supporting the Army’s #1 priority of readiness, and allow the Army to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars.
APG’s Facility Reduction Plan looks at demolition plans as far out as 2023. More than 400 buildings have been identified for demolition over the next six years, Raymond said. Funding will ultimately determine how many of those buildings, and when they are removed from the APG facility footprint.
Approximately 60 of those facilities reside on APG South (Edgewood) and will require special demolition procedures due to a century of chemical and biological related research and testing in that area of the installation.
Throughout the Facility Reduction Plan process, DPW follows strict regulations and guidelines in terms of selecting buildings for demolition and the demolition process itself. They coordinate with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Installation Safety Office and other federal agencies depending on the type of demolition. Contractors are properly trained and must submit demolition work and accident prevention plans prior to starting demolition work.
As buildings are identified for demolition, DPW works to recycle as much material from the building before it comes down – from leftover furniture to metal and wood for salvage. Following the APG recycling policy and waste diversion management plans diverts an enormous amount of waste from the landfills.
Raymond said they also work closely with the APG Directorate of Emergency Services to see if the buildings themselves can be “recycled” for training purposes before demolition.
“If I come across a building [identified for demolition] that I think would work, I reach out to the fire or police department to see how it could work into their training schedules,” he said. DES could use the buildings for a variety of training purposes, using all of the tools available to them.
“It’s another opportunity for the Army and APG to save money,” Raymond said. “Our emergency responders can train right here on post, rather than having to go elsewhere to keep their skills sharp.”
By Amanda Rominiecki, APG News