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New U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District HQ Takes Shape in Mobile, Alabama

Thu May 23, 2024 - Southeast Edition #11
Cindy Riley – CEG Correspondent


Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction (WSC) is the general contractor for the $38 million project.
Photo courtesy of Emily Schultz
Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction (WSC) is the general contractor for the $38 million project.
Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction (WSC) is the general contractor for the $38 million project.   (Photo courtesy of Emily Schultz) The structure is designed to accommodate approximately 900 employees.   (Photo courtesy of D’Ambro Chatman/City of Mobile
) As the inaugural project in Mobile, Ala.’s Civic Center redevelopment plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) new district headquarters will serve as a source of pride for Port City officials.   (Photo courtesy of Emily Schultz) As work continues on the USACE building, there is growing momentum from those who will directly benefit from the construction.   (Photo courtesy of White-Spunner Construction) WSC is working with city officials on the project, along with the architectural firm Evan Terry Associates and Volkert, the project manager of the entire Civic Center rehabilitation.   (Photo courtesy of White-Spunner Construction)

As the inaugural project in Mobile, Ala.'s Civic Center redevelopment plan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) new district headquarters will serve as a source of pride for Port City officials. A topping out ceremony for the building was held in April, as the project moves one step closer to its 2025 completion.

"Due to the age and condition of our current federal building, which was built during the Nixon administration, it just no longer fits the current ever-growing requirements of the district," said USACE Realty Officer Willie L. Patterson III. "The city is very excited, as the new Mobile district headquarters is the first of many improvements to the area to break ground."

Photo courtesy of D'Ambro Chatman/City of Mobile

The structure, designed to accommodate approximately 900 employees, is located on the southeast portion of the Civic Center site, anchoring the intersection of Claiborne and Canal streets.

"The site is ideal, because we, as well as the city, wanted the USACE to remain downtown," said Patterson. "With the new Civic Center and further expansions, the entire area will be a central hub for Mobile in the future."

Prime contractor FD Stonewater, a northern Virginia-based real estate firm, is constructing the 190,000 sq.-ft. structure, which it will own and lease. According to Patterson, winning approval for the multi-million-dollar building involved a fair amount of red tape and a decade of planning.

"It took quite a few steps to make the new building a reality, from the Mobile district leadership justifying the need, to several reviews and approvals by regional leadership, all the way to Washington, D.C., at the headquarters to push this forward," said Patterson.

He added the headquarters will be a dramatic change from the existing 1970s building on Saint Joseph Street.

"The new building is six stories, consisting primarily of concrete, steel and glass. The finishes and interior design of the building took influences from the work we do, with nature, earth tones, water and steel predominant throughout the building.

"While it is slightly less square footage, it's a state-of-the-art facility," he added. "We will have ample meeting rooms, team rooms and a break area on each floor. We will also have a multipurpose room with showers and lockers."

"USACE has had a connection to Mobile since the early 1800s, and we are thrilled to see the Mobile district investing in our community and the future of the Civic Center property," said Mayor Sandy Stimpson. "USACE is a strong partner that will play a key role in future developments of the property. It took a lot of hard work and planning to get us to this point in their construction project, and I'm very excited about the future of this facility and the entire Civic Center property."

Photo courtesy of White-Spunner Construction

In February 2024, local dignitaries broke ground on the nearby parking garage. Mobile-based White-Spunner Construction (WSC) is the general contractor for the $38 million project.

"Our team's successful completion of subsurface structural piling operations marks a crucial milestone, as we form 76 pile caps on 348 structural cast-in-place piles, strategically designed to uphold the weight of the parking facility," said project manager Wesley Tripp. "With the slab on grade scheduled to begin in approximately three weeks, our focus is now on casting the south-end elevated decks 2-6 in place. After the south end is complete, our team will begin construction on the north-end elevated decks."

The six-story deck is located on the Civic Center campus and will add more than 1,000 spaces for patrons, downtown businesses and USACE employees. It's expected to be finished by early next year. WSC is working with city officials on the project, along with the architectural firm Evan Terry Associates and Volkert, the project manager of the entire Civic Center rehabilitation.

As work continues on the USACE building, there is growing momentum from those who will directly benefit from the construction.

"The staff is excited about the new facility," said Patterson. "You can't miss it, due to its location from I-10, along with how quickly construction is going. Everyone can't wait to see their new workspaces." CEG




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