To continue Stronghold’s reflection on its 30-year history of outstanding projects, the team chose to highlight the Live Fire Fort Irwin, GSA 1-8, and Fort Irwin Base Chapel projects. This series of articles demonstrating Stronghold’s commitment to construction excellence celebrates all of the work that the team has accomplished in the company’s history.
Live Fire Fort Irwin
From 1998-2000, Stronghold was tasked with constructing a three-story, 10,000 sq. ft. training facility at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, CA. This $2.9 million training facility was designed to accompany the NTC’s existing munitions training field. Together, the two would create a comprehensive facility for live fire testing by serving all branches of the military in war games, exercises, and training.
Stronghold was chosen as the General Contractor for the project and self-performed all of the electrical and utility work.
The NTC’s live fire training area is located 25 miles from public roads and the main installation, so Stronghold worked strategically to ensure that there were no delays related to material, equipment, or project management. The team responded fluidly to phasing and scheduling changes by employing innovative material use and new construction technology, ordering items with long lead times in advance, pre-qualifying potential subcontractors, and communicating continually with range operations.
The special training and safety precautions required for the Stronghold team to operate in the center of a live fire training area were difficult to navigate. All work had to be scheduled around the military’s training schedule, which included mobilizing and demobilizing every two weeks to accommodate the NTC’s training rotations.
Other major obstacles the team faced were the extreme desert conditions, lack of utility and water access, and rough 25-mile dirt roads to the facility. Additionally, the potential for live ordnance was identified and dealt with swiftly. The team’s project managers organized daily procurements of resources like water and power, and established a consistent schedule for drivers navigating dirt roads.
Upon completion, the building was completely self-contained and included sleeping quarters, command ops, and a bulletproof cavalier glass observation deck. Stronghold’s work on the NTC’s new training facility allowed the Navy increased capabilities in their mission-critical training area.
As a result of their excellent project management and coordination, Stronghold received a letter of commendation from the client along with an Outstanding performance evaluation.
GSA 1-8 and Basement
Stronghold was contracted to work on the U.S. General Services Administration Los Angeles Federal Building in 2008. This $100 million dollar design-build project included upgrading life safety systems, seismic strengthening, and modernization of the basement and floors 1-8 of the building. Until Stronghold procured the Ironwood Prison project in April 2018, the GSA project was the company’s largest project to date.
The Federal Building houses multiple federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals Service. Due to the confidential nature of these agencies, all team members and subcontractors had to pass and comply with monthly security requirements.
As the team worked on the building it remained fully operational, resulting in a high level of coordination between Stronghold and the client to minimize the construction’s impact on the 1.2 million sq. ft. of occupied space. Our team worked evenings and turned over office spaces without dust, returning them back to their normal state each day.
Thanks to additional funds allocated from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, smart value engineering techniques were able to enhance systems and add energy efficiencies within the Federal building. These extra energy-saving measures were designed with a goal of achieving 20% use reduction.
Fort Irwin Base Chapel
In the 1940s, the original Fort Irwin Base Chapel was built by WWII Polish prisoners of war in Germany. In 1997, Stronghold was the primary contractor overseeing the renovations and new construction of the chapel at Fort Irwin, CA, self-performing 60% of the work and completing all other scope with local, desert-based subcontractors.
The complete interior and select parts of the exterior were renovated, most of the exterior was left untouched in an effort to preserve some of the history of the chapel. Stronghold was careful to minimize damage to the historical facade while demolishing other parts of the building.
Stronghold provided new foundations, footing, wood framing, walls, stucco finishes, and mission tile roof. All existing finishes were matched to produce a final interior design that was indistinguishable from the exterior. Additionally, the team worked on exterior utilities, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and other duties typically carried out for a turnkey project.
Work was expedited so that the chapel could be ready for its dedication, and the Stronghold team completed the contract ahead of schedule.
Stronghold’s excellent work on the Fort Irwin Base Chapel earned letters of commendation, an Outstanding performance evaluation, and an Award of Honor from ABC for Historical Preservation. The building was dedicated by President Clinton’s Chaplain who gave Stronghold Engineering their first military coin. Since then, Stronghold has received numerous military coins for their work on a variety of projects.
Commitment at Stronghold
Thanks to the exceptional leadership and elevated standards established at the creation of the company, the Stronghold team is able to execute high-quality work under any circumstances.
For more information on other outstanding work done by the team, visit Stronghold’s Projects page.