The new National Personnel Records Center, constructed for the U.S. General Services Administration by the team led by a Hardin-Tarlton joint venture, provides a central repository for military and civil service personnel records, replacing the National Personnel Records Center at 9700 Page Ave. in St. Louis. NARA’s new LEED registered facility situated on a 29-acre parcel at 1829 Dunn Road is now the largest national archives facility outside of greater Washington, D.C.
The 250,000 sq. ft. warehouse will hold more than 2 million cubic feet of records for 56 million Americans, stored in a multi-bay stacking system nearly 30 feet tall. The tilt-up concrete structure also features a 250,000 sq. ft. three-story office building housing 14 different federal agencies.
In its design assist role, Guarantee developed the security, paging and audio visual systems. In addition, GECO installed the lighting, power, fire alarm, data, paging, security (intrusion alarm system, access control, and CCTV), and electrical distribution systems. Other project deliverables included two independent, 13,200 volt to 480 volt utility services. Our objectives included installation of more than 16,200 lighting fixtures for warehouse, office and site lighting, plus installing, inspecting, testing and energizing of all building and low voltage electrical systems with over 1 million feet of data cable supporting installation of some 5,000 workstations, 600 paging speakers with an infrastructure involving 10,000 feet of fiber optic cable, and 70,000 feet of data feeder cable.
Eighty percent of our work was actually completed within 12 months. However, because of heightened security at the site, when areas were completed and punched we found ourselves having only limited additional access. This meant that every task had to be completed with the highest possible initial accuracy, a tall order, given the considerable numbers and variety of lighting fixtures to be installed, as well as the challenges of wiring and programming LV and security systems, including the immediate handling of any warranty or repair work that typically comes up in any new construction environment.
In short, the sheer size of the NARA facility required massive use of materials as well as labor/man hours, the latter consuming nearly one hundred thousand total hours to complete the project. The scheduled durations for electrical construction were aggressive, calling for imaginative and proactive real time planning, with close coordination between the subcontracting teams to accomplish. And to everyone’s credit, Guarantee met every one of the scheduled durations set for us by the Hardin/Tarlton project team.