The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce held its annual MilCon breakfast at The Landings at Dover Air Force Base on Monday. The breakfast is held so that air force staff can update the public on construction at the base.
Cornell Richard G. Moore, wing commander of the 436th airlift wing at Dover Air Force Base, delivered a presentation outlining past, current and proposed future construction at the base.
The list of proposed project for the base included “recapitalizing” several base hangars. Recapitalizing refers to buildings being torn down, with new ones being built in their place. Other projects include constructing one new hangar and the consolidation of the Security Forces facility. The total price for the list of proposed projects is estimated at $195 million.
However, Moore made it clear that it is unlikely that many of these projects will come to fruition over the next several years. In fact the only project that is likely become a reality over the next seven years is the construction of a new maintenance hangar, Moore said. The base is currently short one hangar and this $39 million project would satisfy that need. The project would most likely be funded in Fiscal Year 2018, Moore said.
“This is our number one project,” Moore said.
Another project at the top of the list that Moore presented is the reconfiguring of the Security Forces buildings. The security forces facility is currently about 60 percent smaller than what the Security Forces need. That project will cost an estimated $22 million.
This expected slow in construction comes after a fairly busy period on the base. Moore’s presentation outlined a series of projects that started in 2000 and continue even into current construction.
Roughly $196 million was spent to construct 980 homes, which replaced base housing originally constructed in the 1960s. The homes were completed in 2009.
In 2006, the original base fire station, which was built in 1954, was recapitalized, a project which cost $15.9 million.
In 2012, the recapitalization of a new chapel was completed on base, replacing the chapel built in 1956. That project carried a price tag of $7.5 million.
One of the largest projects on base that has taken place over the last decade was the de-centralization of the facility’s heat plant, a project that cost $24 million. Originally, water was heated in one central location and then flowed through pipes out to the rest of the base. By decentralizing that facility, the base will save roughly $720,000 per year by cutting down their energy consumption, Moore said.
“The project will pay for itself in 11 or 12 years,” he said.
Even now there is construction underway at the base that will soon be complete. Building 639 at the base was built in 1974 and was in need of a facelift; windows have been added and the building has been reconfigured in order to consolidate it. It is expected to be complete in 2015. The budget for the project is $10.7 million.
Page 2 of 2 - The base communications facility, which is currently made up of five buildings spread across the base, is also being consolidated. The project is expected to be complete in 2014.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) attributed the construction and development at Dover Air Force Base to the hard work of those who live and work at the base.
“The dollars have flown to where the success is,” Carper said.
Despite the fact that it appears that the construction at the base will be minimal over the next decade or so, U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has faith in the base.
“I’m confident that Dover Air Force Base has a bright and strong future,” he said.