Corps restores aloha to historic Fort Shafter welcome center

| September 9, 2010 | 0 Comments

Gerald D. Young &  Dino W. Buchanan
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District 

This photo shows the entrance to Fort Shafter’s Aloha Center’s courtyard as it appeared in the early 1960s. Constructed in the 1940s, the Aloha Center has welcomed thousands of Soldiers, civilians and families to the post. (Courtesy Photo)FORT SHAFTER — The Fort Shafter Aloha Center is well-remembered by Soldiers, families and those who lived, worked or traveled through Fort Shafter during the past 70 years. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District recently completed a two-year, nearly $7 million, rehabilitation and restoration project of the welcome center. 

Constructed in the 1940s, the Aloha Center welcomed thousands of Soldiers, civilians and families to the post, and provided them with their first taste of the U.S. Army’s aloha spirit. 

During recent years, the offices located at the Aloha Center – officially known as Building 330 – were a place where personnel would go to pick up travel tickets, obtain base vehicle passes or get identification cards. 

But due to its advanced age, the building was in need of major restoration since most of the internal structure was unstable from termites. Also, because of historic preservation requirements, specific portions of the building could not be demolished, essentially making engineers rethink how to reconstruct on and around untouchable sections of the facility.

“Honolulu District is proud to refurbish this historic building and renew its aloha spirit for future generations of Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Guttormsen, commander, COE-HD. “Our engineering team and contractor worked tirelessly to preserve history and restore the luster of this building.” 

Working closely with the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Public Works; Maydean Martin, COE-HD’s architect; and Ken Hays, architectural historian; the contractor carefully removed almost 65 percent of the original structure, restored the facility to its original exterior appearance from the 1940s and brought the facility up to current building codes, in addition to adhering to current anti-terrorism and force protection requirements.

Challenges during the current construction included removing the old roof in sections and lifting it off of the building, retrofitting in new fire sprinkler lines and installing blast-resistant windows around steel tubing frames.

Specific repairs included replacing the roof, floors, windows, doors and all utilities; constructing new bathrooms; reconfiguring office and administration spaces; installing new air conditioning, electrical, telecommunications and water systems; as well as constructing an exterior gate and upgrading handicap access. 

U.S. Army organizations scheduled to move back into the building include Army Community Service; Defense Military Pay; Department of Human Resources; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and U.S. Army-Pacific’s deputy chief of staff office.  

Small business 8(a) contractor Alutiiq-Mele, completed the Corps’ fiscal year 2008 project at a cost of $6,694,077. An 8(a) business is a company under the Small Business Administration’s business development program, created to help small businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market.

COE-HD project construction oversight was done by Gerald Young, project engineer, and John Kawaakoa, construction representative. Jenelle Kim was the project manager. The majority of the redesign effort was done by an in-house COE-HD design team consisting of William Yuen, architect; Cynthia Wong, electrical engineer; and Victor Abril, structural engineer. Mechanical design was performed by contractor Mechanical Enterprise, and the fire protection design was by contractor S.S. Danaway and Associates. 

Gerald D. Young &  Dino W. BuchananU.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District FORT SHAFTER — The Fort Shafter Aloha Center is well-remembered by Soldiers, families and those who lived, worked or traveled through Fort Shafter during the past 70 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District recently completed a two-year, nearly $7 million, rehabilitation and restoration project of the welcome center. Constructed in the 1940s, the Aloha Center welcomed thousands of Soldiers, civilians and families to the post, and provided them with their first taste of the U.S. Army’s aloha spirit. During recent years, the offices located at the Aloha Center – officially known as Building 330 – were a place where personnel would go to pick up travel tickets, obtain base vehicle passes or get identification cards. But due to its advanced age, the building was in need of major restoration since most of the internal structure was unstable from termites. Also, because of historic preservation requirements, specific portions of the building could not be demolished, essentially making engineers rethink how to reconstruct on and around untouchable sections of the facility.“Honolulu District is proud to refurbish this historic building and renew its aloha spirit for future generations of Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Guttormsen, commander, COE-HD. “Our engineering team and contractor worked tirelessly to preserve history and restore the luster of this building.” Working closely with the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Public Works; Maydean Martin, COE-HD’s architect; and Ken Hays, architectural historian; the contractor carefully removed almost 65 percent of the original structure, restored the facility to its original exterior appearance from the 1940s and brought the facility up to current building codes, in addition to adhering to current anti-terrorism and force protection requirements.Challenges during the current construction included removing the old roof in sections and lifting it off of the building, retrofitting in new fire sprinkler lines and installing blast-resistant windows around steel tubing frames.Specific repairs included replacing the roof, floors, windows, doors and all utilities; constructing new bathrooms; reconfiguring office and administration spaces; installing new air conditioning, electrical, telecommunications and water systems; as well as constructing an exterior gate and upgrading handicap access. U.S. Army organizations scheduled to move back into the building include Army Community Service; Defense Military Pay; Department of Human Resources; Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation; and U.S. Army-Pacific’s deputy chief of staff office.  Small business 8(a) contractor Alutiiq-Mele, completed the Corps’ fiscal year 2008 project at a cost of $6,694,077. An 8(a) business is a company under the Small Business Administration’s business development program, created to help small businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market.COE-HD project construction oversight was done by Gerald Young, project engineer, and John Kawaakoa, construction representative. Jenelle Kim was the project manager. The majority of the redesign effort was done by an in-house COE-HD design team consisting of William Yuen, architect; Cynthia Wong, electrical engineer; and Victor Abril, structural engineer. Mechanical design was performed by contractor Mechanical Enterprise, and the fire protection design was by contractor S.S. Danaway and Associates. 

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