Sustainment Center to Open Late ‘08

In December 2008, motorists entering the Lee Gate and traveling down Lee Avenue will be greeted by a headquarters building adjacent to Sgt. Seay Field.

But it won’t be Mifflin Hall.

If construction goes according to schedule, the new Sustainment Center of Excellence will occupy a space adjacent to where the 46-year-old headquarters of the Quartermaster Center and School now stands.

According to John Royster Jr., of the Directorate of Public Works and Logistics, the building is being designed as the most impressive on Fort Lee and a physical expression of the importance and criticality of the Logistics Corps and sustainment operations.

“When you come into the Lee Gate you get one first impression,” said Royster, “and we want it to be the SCoE.”

Construction of the SCoE headquarters is part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan to consolidate and realign military operations.

A ground breaking for the $50 million building is scheduled for June 25. The contract for construction of the facility was awarded last week, and work in the area will begin soon.

William G. Robson, BRAC area engineer, said the contractor has probably begun preliminary design work on the facility’s foundation and site layout.

“But I anticipate the physical construction won’t start until late July or early August,” he said.

The SCoE building will be built on Sgt. Seay Field, the area in front of Mifflin Hall. It will comprise the headquarters and administrative elements of the not-yet-formed U.S. Army Logistics Corps to include ordnance schools from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. and Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; the Transportation School currently located at Fort Eustis; and Quartermaster Center and School located here.

Unlike Mifflin Hall, the SCoE headquarters will contain no classrooms. Classroom spaces will be moved to what will be the Logistics University, currently the Army Logistics Management College.

Royster, said the building will be about 220,300 square feet, almost double the size of Mifflin Hall.

“Part of the building, maybe the center, could be as much as five stories, and then the wings of the facility will be no more than three stories,” he said.

The Washington, D.C.-based company that was awarded the contract released artists rendering of the building, but a spokesman said the exact design specification will not be known for two weeks.

When construction starts on the SCoE, the building should be completed in about 18 months. Occupants of Mifflin Hall slated for spaces in the new building will move in almost immediately following the completion.

Demolition of Mifflin Hall and reconstruction of Sgt. Seay Field is the next phase of the SCoE headquarters construction project. Both are contingent upon the completion of the headquarters building.

The schedule of construction for the SCoE is critical because a number of BRAC-related moves are dependent upon the SCoE opening.

“We’re the beginning of the domino effect,” said Royster. “If we don’t stay on schedule, we will have an impact on everybody else.”

Construction of the SCoE is just the beginning of BRAC-related construction at Fort Lee. Other facilities slated for construction include a complex of buildings for the Ordnance Center and School at the former Logistics Warrior field training site and two additional buildings at the Army Logistics Management College.