The first walls and structural steel are rising along Yorktown Avenue at Naval Air Station Jacksonville for the new $38 million P-8 Integrated Training Center that will support the next generation of aircrew, mission operators and maintainers in the Navy’s Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force.
The 165,000-square-foot facility is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2011. Early copies of the P-8A Poseidons are now undergoing flight testing in NAS Patuxent River, Md.
In Jacksonville, the building’s east side consists of two stories for classroom and administration spaces. The west side will be an open bay that houses 10 flight simulators, eight weapons tactics simulators and four other trainers — in addition to all the computer equipment needed to operate the various simulators.
The large concrete wall panels (called “tilt-ups”) are poured horizontally on site where they cure for about eight days until they are tilted up by a crane and secured into place by a network of steel beams.
“Because of recent temperatures in the high 90s, our wall crews have been reporting on the job at 2 a.m. in order to pour the concrete when it’s relatively cooler,” said Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Civil Engineer Celio Cedeno.
“So far, we’ve not experienced any construction delays and expect all the exterior walls to be completed before the end of September. Our other construction site, across from the bowling center and gymnasium, is also on schedule. It is a ‘green’ parking lot with underground rainwater collection bladders — instead of retention ponds. The goal of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. is to have the new parking spaces available for the October 23-24 NAS Jax Air Show,” said Cedeno.
The project is also designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold award for new construction, a Navy spokesman said. LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. Its criteria emphasize site, design and construction considerations such as access to transportation, water and energy conservation, and utilization of recycled materials. LEED’s growing popularity signals a new approach to development that creates healthier spaces for its occupants and has a lighter impact on the environment.