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Construction poised to begin on $75M Armed Forces center

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

DEVENS — Engineers from Symmes Maini & McKee Associates say controlling storm water runoff at the site of the planned $75 million Armed Forces Reserve Center complex on Barnum Road is one of the few remaining items to resolve before demolition and construction can begin.

The engineers, who are responsible for designing the new complex, spoke to the Devens Enterprise Commission last week.

The project calls for the consolidation of Army Reserve, Army National Guard and Marine Reserve facilities into a 270,000-square-foot center.

When completed by the end of 2011, the new center will be the workplace for 180 Army Reservists, 250 Army National Guardsmen and 250 Marine Reservists. It will become one of eight multiservice reserve center “mini-bases” to be constructed following the closure of 41 reserve centers across the country voted in 2005.

In the words of Devens Land Use Coordinator Peter Lowitt, the military is “mixing all branches into one happy military mishmash.”

He explained that the project, which is funded by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure budget, has been through the Level II hearing process and needs only a 21-day Level I administrative review with waived fees from the DEC. He said the Army made substantial consideration of local concerns about the site.

“They could have argued they are exempt (from local regulation) but we (MassDevelopment) presented our concerns about protecting underground water supply pipes,” Lowitt said. “The decision was to comply and we are very pleased with the level of cooperation from the Department of Defense.”

Remediation of a large vehicle repair and parking area that runs through the middle of the 87-acre site is complete. However, runoff capability must be enhanced to the 100-year storm level and include on-site treatment that is not presently there.

Neither the existing Massachusetts National Guard building closest to the Ayer rotary nor the 25th Marines vehicle maintenance facility next to it will be part of the project. One other structure will stay in place — the 41,083-square-foot Consoldiated Maintenance Shop Building 259 — which has artillery pieces in front of it, and is used by the National Guard.

Everything else will be leveled, including the massive twin-stacked Army maintenance depot that DEC commissioner James DeZutter said had been the largest free-standing military building in the country before construction of the Pentagon.

In its place will stand a 58,927 square-foot training building, an Army reserve and Marine Corps Reserve OMS/AMSA (Organizational Maintenance Shop/Area Maintenance Support Activity) building, a washing facility, and a 1,400 square-foot storage building and expansive parking.

Behind Building 259, a 91,473-square-foot Consolidated Support Maintenance Shop and a 5,000-square-foot Army National Guard storage facility will be constructed.

Lowitt said both the Army and J & J Contractors Inc. of Lowell revised plans to build a parking area on the side closest to Ayer’s water wells and promised to remove any disturbance.

“We were trying to ride herd for our colleagues in Ayer,” he said.

The project is incorporating sustainable development principles by pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver level green building certification.

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We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.

Construction poised to begin on $75M Armed Forces center

Construction poised to begin on $75M Armed Forces center
Construction poised to begin on $75M Armed Forces center
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

DEVENS — Engineers from Symmes Maini & McKee Associates say controlling storm water runoff at the site of the planned $75 million Armed Forces Reserve Center complex on Barnum Road is one of the few remaining items to resolve before demolition and construction can begin.

The engineers, who are responsible for designing the new complex, spoke to the Devens Enterprise Commission last week.

The project calls for the consolidation of Army Reserve, Army National Guard and Marine Reserve facilities into a 270,000-square-foot center.

When completed by the end of 2011, the new center will be the workplace for 180 Army Reservists, 250 Army National Guardsmen and 250 Marine Reservists. It will become one of eight multiservice reserve center “mini-bases” to be constructed following the closure of 41 reserve centers across the country voted in 2005.

In the words of Devens Land Use Coordinator Peter Lowitt, the military is “mixing all branches into one happy military mishmash.”

He explained that the project, which is funded by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure budget, has been through the Level II hearing process and needs only a 21-day Level I administrative review with waived fees from the DEC. He said the Army made substantial consideration of local concerns about the site.

“They could have argued they are exempt (from local regulation) but we (MassDevelopment) presented our concerns about protecting underground water supply pipes,” Lowitt said. “The decision was to comply and we are very pleased with the level of cooperation from the Department of Defense.”

Remediation of a large vehicle repair and parking area that runs through the middle of the 87-acre site is complete. However, runoff capability must be enhanced to the 100-year storm level and include on-site treatment that is not presently there.

Neither the existing Massachusetts National Guard building closest to the Ayer rotary nor the 25th Marines vehicle maintenance facility next to it will be part of the project. One other structure will stay in place — the 41,083-square-foot Consoldiated Maintenance Shop Building 259 — which has artillery pieces in front of it, and is used by the National Guard.

Everything else will be leveled, including the massive twin-stacked Army maintenance depot that DEC commissioner James DeZutter said had been the largest free-standing military building in the country before construction of the Pentagon.

In its place will stand a 58,927 square-foot training building, an Army reserve and Marine Corps Reserve OMS/AMSA (Organizational Maintenance Shop/Area Maintenance Support Activity) building, a washing facility, and a 1,400 square-foot storage building and expansive parking.

Behind Building 259, a 91,473-square-foot Consolidated Support Maintenance Shop and a 5,000-square-foot Army National Guard storage facility will be constructed.

Lowitt said both the Army and J & J Contractors Inc. of Lowell revised plans to build a parking area on the side closest to Ayer’s water wells and promised to remove any disturbance.

“We were trying to ride herd for our colleagues in Ayer,” he said.

The project is incorporating sustainable development principles by pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver level green building certification.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.