After 68 years, Civil Engineers have new home
By Senior Master Sgt. Richard W. Larson, 114th Civil Engineer Squadron
/ Published March 31, 2010
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- "Our original title was the Air Installations Office" said Senior Master Sgt. (Ret) Carl O. Dellman. "We were in the building in front of the old operations building, where the Club and chaplains office used to be." Dellman, a retired member of the 114th Civil Engineers Squadron, former Prime BEEF and proud force provider reflects. Dellman spent 42 years serving with the 114th Civil Engineer Flight, now the 114th Civil Engineer Squadron. The unit relocated to building 47 in 1975, a facility built in 1942, where they resided until the completion of the new building in January.
Many of the older members of the civil engineer squadron never thought they'd see the day that this modern $7.6 million facility would be built.
"The first Form 1391 was completed by then Major Dave Holman back in 1989" said 1st Lt. Lance Niewenhuis, 114th CES Project Manager. "As we all know, that major is now Brig. Gen. Dave Holman, our Assistant Adjutant General for Air."
Another retiree who was skeptical and never thought he'd see this day is Lt. Col. (Ret) Tom Molohon, former CES commander. He used to say that he would never see a new Civil Engineer building in his lifetime. Lt. Col. Alvin Punt, current 114th CES commander, joked at the buildings groundbreaking ceremony 20 months ago, "Tom, you'd better start making arrangements!" Lt. Col. Punt added, "We are fortunate to have had support from our congressional delegation for this project. This facility will continue to meet the needs of future South Dakota Air National Guard engineer missions and personnel for years to come."
As you enter the new facility it is apparent that it was designed with engineers in mind. The glass wall exposing the elevator, the exposed duct work, and the industrial looking stairway all reflect appearances that engineers can appreciate. The building is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and essentially tripled the previous space the squadron occupied. Command, Operations, Site Development, HVAC, Electrical, Power Production, Structural, Utilities, Resources/Supply, Emergency Management and Heavy Equipment all have their own facilities within the new complex. The state maintenance staff also has shop facilities within the building.
A new storage facility means that the full complement of CES Prime BEEF, or Base Engineer Emergency Force, mobility and response equipment can be adequately protected from the elements. A purpose built Operations Center will mean better command and control capability during emergencies and disasters. The multi-purpose classroom facility can be set up in numerous configurations to meet mission requirements.
A new feature is being installed in Building 49. It's known as a Mass Notification System. The system will alert the building's occupants to the presence of a wide array of threats such as a security incident, severe weather, a technological emergency or other base-wide emergencies. Both visual and audible warnings will sound when commanded. The system will eventually alert all computer users, as well as ring desk phones and send text messages.