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Full steam ahead: fixes on base heating plant, Field House to last through summer

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Two major projects are ongoing today at the Air Force Academy: renovating the base’s heating plant and refurbishing the Cadet Field House.

The base’s 10th Civil Engineering Squadron manages the renovations at the heating plant and the Army Corps of Engineers manages the Cadet Field House project.

The work at the heating plant near Interior Drive has reduced the amount of hot water on base until August, said Col. Robert Bearden, the 10th Air Base wing vice commander. Temporary boilers are providing hot water to the cadet area, including the dormitories, Mitchell Hall dining facility, Rampart Lodge; and the High Country Inn, where single Airmen who live on base and students at the Academy’s Preparatory School eat, while valves and machinery at the heating plant are replaced.

“If we delay the work until after graduation, we risk not being able to complete it before the heating season starts next fall,” Bearden said.

Facilities close to the temporary boilers, including Arnold and Harmon halls and the Cadet Chapel, may have less hot water during high-use hours, Bearden said.

At the Field House

The renovations at the Field House are expected to cost $121 million and are authorized by the Air Force Civil Engineering Center.

 “The Air Force Civil Engineering Center is responsible to develop the construction package, advertise the project, select the contractors for the various phases, perform on-site quality control and so forth,” said Bryon Gohl, chief of the 10th CES Engineering Flight. 

The renovations include:

-- Sections of the parking lot surrounding the arena will be closed up to five months to install a ground-source heating-pump system anticipated to save $64,000 in annual natural gas and heating costs.

-- Painting the roof structure with paint required to meet National Fire Protection Association standards.

-- Remodeling the hockey team’s locker room and offices

-- Moving the press box to the east side of the Field House

-- Updating the spectator restrooms and the fire alarm system

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