US Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center

Facilities Reduction Program to demolish unusable NASA structure

Huntsville Center Public Affairs
Published Aug. 21, 2019
Huntsville Center's Facility Reduction Program awarded an $11 million contract for the abatement a demolition of the 500,000 square foot administrative building located on NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. A tornado damaged the building resulting in its closing due to asbestos contamination.

Huntsville Center's Facility Reduction Program awarded an $11 million contract for the abatement a demolition of the 500,000 square foot administrative building located on NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. A tornado damaged the building resulting in its closing due to asbestos contamination.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala -- The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville recently awarded an $11 million contract for the abatement and demolition of a visitor center entrance and a 500,000 square foot administration building on the campus of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

Several structures on the 839-acre campus were damaged during a 2017 tornado and most are operational today. However, a structure set to be demolished hasn’t been occupied since then.

Huntsville Center’s Facilities Reduction Program manager said the project is cumbersome not only due to the size of the facility, but also due to the environmental regulations associated with the demolition.

“This is one of the largest FRP demolition projects, and the largest abatement project FRP has taken on,” said Michelle Clark, FRP manager.

 “The structures were built before the restrictions for using asbestos were put into place. The tornado shook the entire building, covering everything-- computers, chairs, filing cabinets, work stations—it was all covered with asbestos,” she said.

“As such, FRP’s contractor, Bhate Environmental Associates, Inc., will treat and dispose of everything as asbestos-containing material.”

Huntsville Center’s FRP eliminates excess facilities and structures using Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contracts. The program’s four regional Multiple Award Task Order Contracts execute demolition, and a Single Award Task Order Contract is on hand for specialized demolition expertise required in situations like the MAF project.

For more than half a century, NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility has been the agency’s “rocket factory,” the nation’s premiere site for manufacture and assembly of large-scale space structures and systems.

Currently, the MAF is responsible for manufacturing and assembling the core stage of NASA's next-generation heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

The facility is also involved in manufacturing large structures and composites for the Orion crew vehicle.

Previously, NASA used the facility to assemble the external propulsion tanks for the space shuttle program, as well as Saturn V moon rocket stages.

MAF is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.