“Those who fail to plan essentially plan to fail,” Col. Trent Edwards, commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, said at a Maxwell vision session featuring 14 speakers. “As we look forward to the future, we have got to make sure that we synchronize each one of our missions and integrate them into this development plan. That’s how we move forward in a very successful way.” Moving forward means making better use of the installation and reaching the Department of Defense’s mandate to reduce overhead and infrastructure 20 percent by 2020. The base is working on demolishing 1.1 million square feet, Edwards said, and includes six projects this year that will cost a combined $500,000. The underutilized movie theater is on the demolition list and non-privatized housing units will be demolished. The Falcon’s Nest Lounge at Gunter will also be demolished. “We manage space,” said Edwards, who oversees Maxwell and Gunter Annex. “As the host installation, our responsibility is to care … for tenants and partners at Maxwell Air Force Base.” The base has 15,000-plus personnel and handles another 14,500-plus
retirees and about 850 inmates for a total population of 41,500. The base is also looking at demolishing its Post Office to provide a “huge, wide-open space” near the main Maxwell Boulevard entrance to move the Base Exchange, commissary, library and bowling center to create what Edwards called a “community commons.” That area would be located nearby the River Region Freedom Park. Edwards said the list of capital improvements is not a wish list. “We have a process by which we identify requirements,” he said. “We have identified a requirement for a new control tower; for a new fitness center at Gunter as well as a new entry control point.” The current air traffic control tower was built in 1955 and is the oldest, active tower in the Air Force. It contains lead-based paint, asbestos, mold and leaks and has obstructed views. The nearly 20,000-square-foot fitness center at Gunter was originally an aircraft maintenance hangar. The proposed fitness center is more than 60,000 square feet.
The current commercial vehicle inspection and entry control facility is a 1940s gate with some upgrades and guard shack from the 1970s and is located close to the Base Exchange and commissary. The new facility is at a different location and would provide the required security. The proposed Officer Training School dorm expands capacity to meet the current demands. The three-story facility would have 120 rooms. The proposed commissary for Gunter is 46,144 square feet. The existing building was constructed as an aircraft hanger in 1943 and then converted to a commissary in 1974. The proposed JAG addition is a two-story, 40,000-plus square foot facility with a 125seat auditorium; six rooms for seminars; and two large classrooms. In addition to those large capital improvement projects are hundreds of small projects – 14 pages worth – renovating and maintaining the 297 buildings and the more than 6.5 million square feet at Maxwell and Gunter as well as CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
March 2014 Montgomery Business Journal