By Mark Wyatt, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
/ Published October 14, 2021
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base civil engineers completed approximately $400,000 in building enhancement projects here in fiscal year 2021 as part of the workplace improvement program.
The program invests in workplace projects that do not require design work, such as replacing ceiling tiles, painting and signage.
“These are typically projects that might not receive the funding needed to complete the project, but they still need to be done,” said Jerry Sorensen, 66th Civil Engineering Division deputy civil engineer.
The number of projects selected for completion is based on available resources, he added.
The program launched in 2018 when Hanscom civil engineers used utility rebates to fund projects, such as replacing old carpeting, basic renovations and painting projects.
“None of those projects would have made the centralized funded list before Mr. [Tom] Schluckebier [base civil engineer] initiated the WPI program,” said Sorensen. “This program has allowed CE to work toward a sustainable installation to support the needs of the workforce.”
In FY 2021, civil engineers completed 15 projects through the initiative, including a paved walkway, replacing carpet, repairing walls and painting.
Sorensen said his team typically receives 60 projects at the beginning of the fiscal year from facility managers. When resources are determined, the proposed list is coordinated with the installation commander and the selected projects for the year are established.
“The WPI program, in conjunction with AFMC We Need, has been a tremendous success in the sustainment, restoration and modernization of our facilities,” he said. “It’s been successful because of the teamwork of civil engineers, facility managers, base contracting and leadership.”
The AFMC We Need program began in 2019. The program empowers Airmen to help shape the future of AFMC.
In FY21 the installation received $1.5 million through that initiative, including $90,000 this summer for construction of a ramp to improve accessibility to the sports bubble beside the Fitness and Sports Center.
Base civil engineers also completed modernization projects in the 66th Air Base Group Judge Advocate Office and the Emergency Operations Center using installation commander funds.
With a new fiscal year beginning, CE officials encourage facility managers to look for information about the FY22 WPI program for infrastructure and sustainment improvement projects.
“We ask facility managers to not automatically disqualify themselves based on past programs and limited funding, but to tell us what utopia looks like for your facility,” said Sorensen.