The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, awarded a nearly $42 million contract Aug. 21 for the construction of the U.S. Air Force’s Cyberworx facility at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
The contractor, Bryan Construction Inc., out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, will begin construction in spring 2021 and is scheduled to finish the project by late Summer 2023.
John Jaszkowiak, a project manager with the Omaha District, has been leading the way for this military construction undertaking. Omaha District is handling the construction of this facility because the Army Corps is a Department of Defense designated construction agent who supports the Air Force as well as other government agencies.
“USACE offers a full suite of design and construction capabilities,” Jaszkowiak said. “Our team is able to take a project from first inception to a completed building with the same dedicated team of engineers, construction managers, project managers, contracting officers, attorneys, and a whole host of other professions needed to ensure complete transparency, accountability and efficiency of effort.
Cyberworx Director Col. Bill Waynick, explains why the facility is necessary for the Air Force’s mission.
“The need for innovation across every mission area is never ending and in our line of work, there is no such thing as full operational capability. With cyber innovation, one would think that since it is a virtual realm, it should be easy to ideate and deliver novel solutions with teammates from all over the globe. That’s not necessarily case, especially with the complex challenges we receive from across the Department of Defense,” said Waynick.
The Cyberworx mission demands a unique facility that provides a link enabling collaboration between Air Force operations, academia, leadership and industry. The facility being built will foster the development of cyber innovation necessary to aid the warfighter.
The Department of Defense commissioned Cyberworx in 2016 and currently operates from several spaces in Fairchild Hall, the main academic building at the Academy. Once completed, the approximately 42,000 square foot facility will consolidate Cyberworx’s operations and the structure’s modular design will be highly configurable ensuring Cyberworx can adapt as the mission and technology changes over time. The new building will also be the focal point of the school’s new cyber curriculum.
Jaszkowiak notes that currently, CyberWorx is operating out of multiple labs, which will be consolidated with the new facility.
“This single facility will bring together all the aspects of CyberWorx and the Cyber curriculum, enhancing collaboration and communication, government and private sector engineers to learn, study, and solve real world Air Force cyber problems.”
While the Corps at excels construction, especially when tasked for building for the Department of Defense, the project will not be without its share of challenges. The construction is being funded by public and private funds; this means a diverse group of stakeholders, such as the United States Air Force Academy, 10th Civil Engineer Squadron, and the Omaha District itself, will need to be satisfied.
The facility is being built near a section of the Academy’s historic area that bridges the divide between the public and the cadet area. The facility will be the first building constructed in 25 years in the cadet area and the location will provide a backdrop to the Stillman Parade Field.
“The facility needs to be designed and constructed adjacent to a historic landmark district. The new facility needs to pay homage to the mid-century architecture found throughout the Cadet Area at USAFA, while also bringing in a fully modern suite of materials,” said Jaszkowiak.
While the construction of a building may not seem like a complicated endeavor the facility has its share of challenges in front of it.