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Corps completes first Gold-rated facility at Hill Air Force Base

May 17, 2011

By Carlos Lazo (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (May 17, 2011) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District transferred ownership of a new three-bay fire station to the Air Force during a ribbon-cutting ceremony here May 17. The district completed work on the $4.5 million project earlier in the month.

"This fire station was needed here on the east side, for all the development we have here currently and all the development that will take place in the future," said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, who attended the ceremony.

Joining Bishop were Maj. Gen. Andrew E. Busch, Ogden Air Logistic Center commander and host of the ceremony; Col. Patrick Higby, 75th Air Base Wing commander; Col. Kathryn Kolbe, 75th ABW vice commander; Lt. Col. Andrew Kiger, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District commander and other local military and civilian representatives.

Bishop also credited Sen. Orrin Hatch for his efforts in seeing the facility to fruition. "Between the House and Senate sides, this one of the things that is very positive of which we are extremely proud of," said Bishop.

The building is a first for both the Sacramento District and the base, said Kiger.

Originally designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating of Silver, the facility is instead receiving a Gold rating. LEED is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000.

"This is a great milestone for Hill (AFB) and for the military as a whole," said Kiger. "It demonstrates our continued commitment to maintain and support the most effective fighting force in the world."

The single-story facility is 7,739 square feet, equipped with three aircraft / building fire fighting vehicle parking bays; a specialized exhaust system; equipment storage; a locker room area; living / sleeping quarters; offices; a kitchen; a decontamination room; and a physical fitness room.

"We wanted to make sure this facility would support the Air Base with its mission - but also that it would accommodate, in the best way possible, the great firefighters and personnel that would be working within its walls," said Kiger.

Among the capabilities that helped it achieve a Gold rating, the facility includes "all off" switches in the living / sleeping quarters, which as the name describes, turns off all electricity in the room; substantially decreasing the use of electricity by appliances such as fans or televisions inadvertently left on. This is an added benefit when responding to an emergency, as a fire crew member may need to exit the room rapidly and not be able to shut everything in the room off one by one.

Additionally, almost every room has some form of natural day lighting, along with energy from solar panels mounted on top of the facility, and the bathrooms increase water efficiency by treating and reusing sink and shower water in the facility's toilets. The water from the toilets is in turn used as irrigation water.

"Receiving a Gold rating under this system means that this facility is more efficient in every way possible, with minimal negative impacts on the environment," said Kiger.

Originally part of the F-22 Heavy Maintenance Shop Complex nearby, budget problems led to the fire station to re-designed as a stand-alone project in 2009. As such, it would be the first fire station built on Hill since 1943. It was also re-positioned to support the existing C-130 hanger along with the growing F-22 complex, supporting east-side development and future customers at Hill.

"It's very important that the east-side development that we are doing is mirrored by the emergency support that is provided by this facility," said Busch.

"I'm proud to be here," said Bishop, "but I'm also proud that we have a facility here, finally, that is worthy of the men and women who will be working in this facility."

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