Obsolete heating plant laid to rest

US Air Force Photo

US Air Force Photo by A1C Steve Karkela

The original construction of the base heating plant plus the base laundry and north-south runway took place during the spring and summer of 1941. These three construction projects led the way for others to provide a permanent base here.

What's happening here? See story below

U.S. Air Force Photo by SSgt Johnny Burt

U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Johnny R Burt

Coming Down
The heating plant is coming down as it no longer meets the base's heat and power requirements.

A bulldozer eats away at the old heating plant.

Obsolete heating plant laid to rest By Sgt. Robert E. Paulson, November 21, 1986

After 24 years of faithful service and another 19 years of inactive status, a part of Elmendorf is being put to rest.

The former base heating plant, located near the flight line and F-15 maintenance area, is finally being dismantled. Originally scheduled for demolition in 1967, the facility is being demolished at a cost of $871,000, about a third of the 1942 construction cost of $2.5 million.

The building contained over 35,000 square feet and is constructed witha concrete foundation and metal walls and roof. Improvements over the years include water storage tanks, water cooling tower and three additional heating units which were completed in 1962.

The plant provided heat and electrical power for the entire base until the base's needs outgrew the plant's capability. It also served as an unofficial visual beacon for the flight line because of the extensive lighting, both inside and outside the plant, and the heavy smoke produced by the initial lighting of the heating units. The current power plant has taken up the slack producing more than 14 times the power of the old plant.

The original disposal date was delayed because of problems that developed during the dismantling of the building. The Alaska district engineer determined there would be no potential sales markets for the obsolete equipment and there would be a high labor cost for dismantling. Most of the mechanical equipment was removed in 1985. Another potential problem is removal of the large amount of asbestos installation located in the basement and ground floor. The last problem is dealing with the mess left by a large population of pigeons that lived in the building for many years.

Special procedures, such as encasing the basement in plastic and use of extensive personal safety equipment plus close monitoring of the demolition ensures a safe and orderly removal of the building.

The area vacated by the building will be used as a parking lot supporting both hangars 2 and 3 and other adjacent building. All activity should be completed by mid December.


Anchorage Times  Photo by Herb Swanson

Twisted Girders are all that remain Tuesday 
of a heating plant being torn down on Elmendorf Air Force Base.

44-year-old base building tumbling down

The World War II-era heating plant at Elmendorf Air Force Base is coming down from the bottom up.

A demolition crew is using heavy equipment to pull the supports out from under the steel skeleton, all that remains of the 35,000-square-foot heating plant. A simpler method was considered, said Maj. Darrell Hayes.

"Explosives were considered, but we were fearful of damaging the other buildings nearbyk" said Hayes, public affairs officer for the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing. Instead, nuts and bolts that connect the plant's steel girders were removed, weakening the structure.

"It's costing a third as much as what it cost to build the plant in 1942," said Hayes.

The plant cost $2.4 million to build. Demolition will cost $871,000, said Staff Sgt. Frank Singleton.

Heating units, water storage tanks and a cooling tower were added to the plant after it was build, he said.

After demolition, the site will be paved and used as a parking lot. It is located on the flight line in the maintenance area for the Air Force's F-15 Eagle fighter-interceptors.

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