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Posted 9/7/2018

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By Katie Lewis
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


The LRB Special Project Branch was retained by Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) to initially prepare site planning/Charrette level documents for the construction of an office building to alleviate over-crowding within the ICE law department, otherwise known as Office of the Principal Legal Advisor or OPLA. The new office space required offices, cubicles, conference room and mechanical/IT rooms. Multiple building solutions were presented and evaluated over a six-month period. A stand-alone building in a vacant area adjacent to the newly constructed warehouse proved to be the most economical solution to the problem.

Once the site was selected, the acquisition strategy meeting revealed that a Design-Build contract of a “modular” building was the fastest and most economical means of solution. Through significant coordination with the ICE PDT, the floor plan was developed for a 40’ x 83’ modular building with exterior finishes that would match the adjacent warehouse. Once the floor plan and preliminary site layout was prepared, the IIS group then prepared the technical Scope of Work (SOW) for the Design-Build contract. This was then bid amongst the pre-qualified pool of LRB MATOC contractors and awarded as a low-bid contract.

The design phase has overcome some scope modifications and delays, but the project has successfully transitioned from design to construction. The construction kick-off meeting was held on August 10, 2018 at the project site. Representatives from ICE, USACE, and the prime contractor came together for a productive construction kick-off meeting. The Program Director from ICE HQ in Washington, D.C. also attended to show support and ensure the construction team was on the right path forward. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the status of outstanding design comments, upcoming construction phases and how it may affect the facility, and how communication will be maintained to ensure a successful construction season.

The contractor initiated site clearing operations on August 27, 2018. Currently the contractor’s schedule calls for one month to conduct clearing and grubbing, earthwork, foundation construction, and site utility work. Once the site foundation is prepared, the units will be delivered one at a time and assembled on site. The modular building itself is being fabricated off-site in Pennsylvania and will be delivered in seven different sections, approximately 12ft x 40ft in size. Finishing touches will occur on-site, as well as the brick veneer installation to match the existing buildings at the BFDF. This project is expected to be substantially complete by November 21, 2018 and has a current contract cost of $1.4M.

BFDF Buffalo District Corps of Engineers ice Lewis modular special project USACE