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Tuscaloosa Army Reserve Center damaged in 2011 tornadoes demolished by FRP

Huntsville Center Public Affairs Office
Published March 22, 2013
Workers destroy the Tuscaloosa Army Reserve Center which saw extensive damage by a tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala., in April 2011. A new $13 million, 67,0000 square foot facility replaced the old facility.

Workers destroy the Tuscaloosa Army Reserve Center which saw extensive damage by a tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala., in April 2011. A new $13 million, 67,0000 square foot facility replaced the old facility.

It’s been almost two years since Alabama experienced the deadly tornado outbreak of April 27, 2011, and in many areas, you can still see signs of the destruction.  Tuscaloosa was particularly hard hit.

     The U.S. Army Reserve Center at 2627 10th Avenue near the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium suffered damage as well. 

     The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s Facilities Reduction Program removed seven facilities from the site.

     “We tore down three buildings and four concrete pads,” said Karl Gullatte, the project manager.   “The buildings were partially destroyed in 2011.”

     This was a quick turnaround project for FRP.  Demolition started Jan. 31 and the project was completed two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget. The site was returned to the 81st Regional Support Center at Fort Jackson, S.C.

     Huntsville Center awarded the $215,000 project to Border Demolition and Environmental Inc. out of El Paso, Texas, against an existing Mid-East Region Multiple Award Task Order Contract for facilities reduction.  Border subcontracted with a local company, Blakeney Company Inc., to do the demolition.

     “For projects like this, we provide program and project management support,” said Dennis Bacon, the FRP program manager. 

     “The Corps of Engineers Mobile District’s Arlyn Marheine and Brian Hicks handled quality assurance.

     “This is a small project, but a very important project,” Bacon said.  “For this project, we received permission to take the building debris to an Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) landfill.

     The buildings contain asbestos, but it was not possible to separate the asbestos from the other building material.  We received a waiver from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Because the material was contaminated with asbestos, we couldn’t recycle like we normally would do.”

     Typically contractors look at a project as a commodity and sort material they can take out for salvage and recycling, Bacon said.  But in this case, the buildings were taken down and removed to an ACM landfill.

     The project in Tuscaloosa was just one of 47 FRP projects under way worldwide.

     FRP eliminates excess facilities and structures to reduce fixed installation costs and achieve energy savings. Using the Department of Defense Facilities Pricing Guide (UFC 3-701-09) as the cost reference, FRP achieves a simple return on investment in four to eight years from energy savings. When all cost factors are included, the simple return on investment is in the range of two years for the majority of facility removal projects.

      Historically, FRP has achieved a programmatic landfill diversion rate of approximately 72 percent, significantly exceeding the Department of Defense diversion policy of 50 percent by weight where economically feasible.                 In FY11, FRP had regional Multiple Award Task Order Contracts with $240 million in capacity and a $30 million budget.

     The average cost for Army facility removal in FY12 was $8.16 per square foot, more than a 50 percent reduction from FY04.