Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is seeking public comment on the proposed demolition of two World War II-vintage buildings on base that have exceeded their originally planned service lives by more than 50 years.
According to an Air Force environmental assessment posted by the base (PDF), Buildings 5303 and 5312, near the intersection of Arctic Warrior Drive and Jerstad Avenue, were both built on Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1944 as Alaska Air Depot supply warehouses. Their demolition has been suggested to help JBER comply with a “20/20” challenge from President Obama for federal agencies to reduce their real-property and operating costs by 20 percent each by the year 2020.
The assessment says Building 5303 is being used to store furniture, while Building 5312 is partially abandoned but still houses the 673d CES Asset Management Flight, Natural Resources Element, and Simplified Acquisition of Base Engineering Requirements program. Both buildings were made of wood or other materials, and built to a lesser standard than permanent structures made with materials like steel and concrete.
“Buildings 5303 and 5312 are classified as semi-permanent structures: temporary structures that have been modified by the military to extend their operable life span beyond the original intended 10 to 15 years,” base officials wrote.
Neither building’s integrity has been maintained, according to the assessment. It lists the most recent work done at Building 5303 as a 1957 conversion of its coal-fired heating system to use oil, while the last major change at Building 5312 was “the removal of playground equipment and a sandbox” in 1991.
Although both buildings are eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places due to their age and association with World War II, neither has been added to it.
JBER spokesperson Bob Hall says no timeframe has yet been set for the buildings’ demolition, since the proposal is still being evaluated.
“We’re just taking public comment right now,” Hall said.
According to Hall, no plans have yet been made about where the agencies now housed in Building 5312 might move if it’s demolished. The assessment says another location is available for the furniture currently stored in Building 5303.
No hearings have been scheduled on the proposed demolitions. Anyone submitting comments on them is asked to do so before April 5 and reference the JBER document’s name, “Environmental Assessment for Demolition of Buildings 5303 and 5312.” Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to Hall by mail to the following address:
Attn: Bob Hall, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Public Affairs
10480 Sijan Ave., Suite 123
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK 99505-6000
Contact Chris Klint