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New Civil Engineer building nearing completion

SIOUX FALLS -- A work in progress, the new CE building May 15.  (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland)

SIOUX FALLS -- A work in progress, the new Civil Engineer building May 15. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland)

SIOUX FALLS -- The current CE building. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland)

SIOUX FALLS -- The current CE building. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Master Sgt. Nancy Ausland)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Change isn't always a positive sign of progress. But if the ever-changing atmosphere of Joe Foss Field is any indication, change for the SDANG means growing and moving forward. 

There are a few buildings on base that are pretty old. In fact, Hangar 40 and Building 47 have been around since WWII. The latter, built in 1942, has always been home to the Civil Engineer squadron. By the end of this year, CE will have a new place to call home. 

Construction of the new facility started in October 2008, just east of where Building 47 currently resides. The $7.5 million project is currently about 60 percent complete and should be finished by the end of November. 

Though the main reason for the new building was due to the age of the current one, the size of Building 47 is also an issue. During a UTA, there are about 75 Airmen using the building at any given time. The current facility does not have an area large enough to house the entire squadron for roll call and commander's calls. They hold those large group meetings in the garage. The new building will have a classroom large enough for the whole squadron including the fire department. 

Lt Col. Al Punt, Commander 114 CES, said he is really looking forward to the new location for the better training facilities and extra space. 

Building 49, as it will be known, will give CE an additional 8,200 sq. ft. of space. The administration area and shop will take up all 24,200 sq. ft. of the building that is currently being constructed. There will also be a 6,000 sq. ft. cold storage facility (Building 46) that will be built as soon as the current project is finished. 

The 66-year-old Building 47 will be torn down in fiscal year 2010. There are not any plans for that area at this time. It will be planted with grass and left open until it is deemed necessary to put a new building in its place. 

At the rate that Joe Foss Field changes, it may not be long before something new is erected on the former site of Building 47.