By Senior Airman Frank Casciotta
71st FlyiTraining Wing Public Affairs
VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. —
The completion date for the new control tower at Vance Air Force Base, initially scheduled for this summer, has been delayed until February.
The $9.5 million project has experienced many challenges since the beginning, said Braven Dyer, project engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers on base. Initial delays were due to a redesign for the elevator and stairs to accommodate a gurney in case of a medical emergency in the tower’s cab.
“Our biggest challenge now is the ‘footprint’ of the building,” Dyer said. “Each level is 630 square feet, which gives us a relatively small area to work in.”
The small workspace requires specific equipment that must be ordered. But, before the equipment arrives, engineers use building information modeling to check things out.
“Before we do any work, we use the BIMs to make sure everything will work,” Dyer said.
These digital models show how the physical objects will work in reality, and allow engineers to test fit parts and equipment.
“It has been tough to get all the equipment designed, procured and installed,” Dyer said. “We have also made staffing changes on the worksite to improve productivity.”
Once completed, the new control tower will stand 32 feet taller than the current one.