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PHOTO BY SENIOR AIRMAN AUDREY CHAPPELL

MISSISSIPPI VALLE Y DIVISION

Seen here is one of the rooms ready for use by FEMA and the state of Missouri should they need a hospital-quality site to receive overflow from area hospitals. Pictured left to right are Brig. Gen. Levon Cumpton, Missouri National Guard adjutant general; U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark Toy; St. Louis District Project Manager Matt Vielhaber; and St. Louis District Commander Col. Bryan Sizemore.

learning carpentry at Tarlton and graduated with a civil engineering degree from Purdue University, where he was in the Naval ROTC program. He served eight years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of captain, before a career in construction that spanned nearly 70 years. His belief in service to others was passed down to his three children and our company.” The USACE framework of “Site, Build, Supply, Staff” used for the hotel and arena conversions complements the FEMA response framework used in all emergency responses. The state provides the site, supplies, and staffing while USACE provides the time-sensitive design and build component. Making a hotel into a hospital-quality facility is no small task. Maj. Daniel Strasser, a mechanical engineer for the St. Louis District, brought his military and construction engineering skills to the roof on the first day to relocate exhaust fans away from air intake vents and install block supports and vibration dampeners to meet the more stringent requirements for the site. Quality contractors worked three and a half days with USACE technical experts around the clock to provide everything from electrical 44

and HVAC assessments and changes to carpet replacement and task lighting. The partnership grew quickly, and it was a team of professionals decidedly perfect for the mission at hand. For FEMA, it was further proof of their dedication to be prepared, responsive, and committed. For USACE, it was a call to apply its renowned mission to engineer solutions for the nation’s toughest challenges. Missouri’s governor, the state Emergency Management Agency, Health Services, National Guard, and Air National Guard units all stepped up to provide services and information for a complete mission scope. For Tarlton, the mission was supported by more than 100 highly skilled and thoughtful people from the design-build team and more than a dozen subcontractors. Every member of the team brought their A-game to benefit their families, friends, neighbors, and communities in this time of need – something each partner proudly provides every day. As Vielhaber said when asked by a reporter about the team on the ground: “Nobody’s too distant from the situation. This is not just a mission, but our community.” n

Profile for Faircount Media Group

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Building Strong, Serving the Nation and the Armed Forces, 2020-2021  

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