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New England District team breaks ground on new FDA facility

New England District team breaks ground on new FDA facility

Story by AnnMarie Harvie on 07/31/2019

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needed a new facility to house its new lab and office space, they called the New England District and requested the agency build the facility for them.

Col. William Conde and New England District team members joined FDA representatives for a groundbreaking ceremony June 20 at the Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center (WEAC) in Winchester, Massachusetts.

Lt. Col. (ret.) Brian Baker, who once served with the New England District is now the Director of the Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center. He opened up the ceremony with a Call to Order. He was followed by Jim Sigg, Chief Operating Officer, who offered welcoming remarks.

Col. Conde served as the first guest speaker. He reminded the audience that the Corps in New England has had a good relationship with the agency in the past, saying that the Corps (NAD)was involved with the Atomic Energy Commission in its work back in 1951, prior to the FDA using the building for its labs. “It’s only fitting that we’re back here, almost 70 years later through an interagency agreement, to build your new center,” he said.

According to the public notice issued July 31, 2017, the $54.3 million project involves the construction of a new building for the FDA-WEAC of approximately 75,000 square feet and demolition of the current, 60-year old building which no longer meets the FDA-WEAC standards for size, configuration and amenities. The old building has outdated electrical and mechanical systems as it has reached its size and capacity for the technical equipment needed for the facility to perform its analytical work. “The project includes the design and construction of the new center,” said Col. Conde. “The construction contract was awarded to Whiting-Turner Contracting Company on July 31, 2018. The designer of record is ZGF Architects and Affiliated Engineers, Inc.”

Col. Conde said the Notice to Proceed was issued on Aug. 24, 2018 and that the project is moving along. “The design is currently in progress with an initial design conference held in early October and detailed user meetings conducted in late October 2018,” he said. “Design packages are expected in July with construction mobilization set for early fall.”
The new facility will be designed and constructed in accordance with the 2015 International Building Code and the National institute of Health Design Requirements manual. The contract duration will be three years.
Col. Conde concluded his remarks by thanking all of the partners who worked together to plan, organize and execute design and planned construction of the project. “Your combined efforts will bring this project from the initial concept, to the drawing board, to make it a physical reality of concrete and steel on this construction site,” he said.

Melinda Plaisier, Associate Commissioner of Regulatory Affairs rounded out the speakers. Col. Conde joined Baker, Sigg, Plaiser and other stakeholders in the ceremonial ground breaking.

The event concluded with Col. Conde, the New England District team and other invited guests touring the Winchester Engineering and Analytical Center.

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