The battle damage of Hurricane Florence on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point continues to be erased with the groundbreaking ceremony for two new fire stations at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, May 31, 2023.
MCAS Cherry Point leaders and representatives from Office in Charge of Construction (OICC) Florence, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and Cherry Point firefighter legacy ceremonially broke ground on the patch of land starting at the corner of Roosevelt Boulevard and Basswood Drive for Military Construction Project 142A and B (P-142).
The project scope includes the design and construction of two facilities that will replace the air station’s Main Fire Station. The new Main Fire Station will be a one-story 29,000-square-foot facility outfitted with state-of-the-art fittings and functions. The project includes the construction of a satellite fire station of 16,000 square feet located about a mile west of the main station along Roosevelt Boulevard. The two, more than 80-year-old buildings that currently house Fire and Emergency Services also will be demolished as a part of the project.
According to Cherry Point Fire Chief Josh Boudreau, the facilities’ design concepts centered around firefighter-related disease prevention, functionality, and quality-of-life, and will include technically advanced filtration systems, negative-pressure vestibules, decontamination corridors, gear cleaning and storage areas, and fitness and recreation spaces.
“It is no exaggeration that our firefighters will spend half of their time, for 20, 25 or 30 years, on duty in these stations, doing what we love,” Boudreau said.
The package of projects is remarkable for the OICC, as it represents a great opportunity to improve the air station’s capabilities and bring multiple facilities up-to date.
“This is exciting for us. The devastation of Hurricane Florence brought about this opportunity to build these facilities back better,” said Cmdr. J.D. Patton, Operations officer for OICC Florence. “These projects are effectively replacing base infrastructure and will serve the station for a very long time.”
Site construction for the P-142B portion of the contract marked the official start the project, which got underway in April. P-142 is projected to be completed by late summer 2024. It is one of the five major recovery projects that was awarded to Whiting-Turner in August 2020. The $149 million-package of projects includes construction of six additional replacement facilities: the Provost Marshal’s Office, a headquarters support squadron building, two new fire stations, a motor transportation and communication shop, and a replacement range operations center at an outlying field.
Of the projects in progress, P-162 is on target to be completed first, by the fall. It is the construction of two facilities that will house the air station and wing support squadrons and PMO. P-246 that got underway in August 2022 will replace the Range Operations Center and tower currently located at Bombing Target 11. It is projected to be completed in the summer of 2024. Construction for P-130 is projected to begin in the late summer.