The Colorado Army National Guard announced the award of a $33.5 million contract to build a new training facility in Gypsum, Colo., today.
The new state-of-the-art aviation facility will be the new home of the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site, located between Vail and Glenwood Springs, Colo.
The contract was awarded to Hensel Phelps Construction Co., of Greeley, Colo., and is expected to take approximately 790 days to complete.
The project will provide an immense economic benefit to the Vail Valley economy as a significant portion of the construction effort will come from the local area.
Planning for the new facility started in 2005 and was done in close coordination with Eagle County, the Eagle County Airport and the Town of Gypsum. The federal contracting process includes project master planning, architectural/engineering firm selection, architectural and engineering design execution, and construction contractor selection prior to construction contract award. Jacobs Engineering of St. Louis, Mo., was the architectural engineering firm that executed the project design.
Scope of the project includes a 101,600-square-foot aviation training facility that will include administration, classrooms, a flight operations section, maintenance hangars, allied maintenance shops and lodging rooms. Exterior facades of the facility will be a combination of stone, glazing, translucent panels, concrete, and metal panel systems. Site improvements include grading, utility services to the facility, control gates, a parking lot, access roads, concrete aprons, helicopter tie-down pads, dry stack stone feature wall and miscellaneous landscaping. The project will be constructed to achieve at least a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver rating, fully certified thru the U.S. Green Building Council.
HAATS, which trains military rotary-wing pilots from around the world in Power Management, gives pilots the knowledge and confidence to operate their aircraft routinely and safely at maximum gross weights in any environment – especially at high altitudes. This critical mission provides life-saving combat skills to American and allied pilots serving in mountainous Afghanistan and other challenging environments worldwide.
The existing facility has been upgraded and renovated over the past 15 years, but cannot be expanded further to meet the emergent mission requirements of today’s military, as it lacks adequate space for staff, student lodging, classrooms and maintenance facilities; but will continue to operate in the existing facility for CH-47D aircraft and legacy aircraft maintenance and potentially a CH-47D flight simulator.
HAATS is the only Department of Defense- approved facility that conducts high-altitude/Power Management/environmental training. HAATS trains all branches and components of the military, and currently has a full-time Coast Guard instructor assigned to the staff, making HAATS a unique joint training site. When combined with the existing facility, the new facility will enable all mission sets and training to be conducted to standard well into the future.
Construction is expected to begin in August.
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