MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va --
Building 2200 is one of Marine Corps Systems Command’s iconic structures.
Erected during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency as a Navy hospital, Building 2200 and the other buildings that make up the Hospital Point campus house nearly 1,000 Marines, civilians and contractors who strive to support the warfighter. But it’s no easy task to maintain an 80-year-old building that needs continuous upkeep.
Managing Building 2200 and nearly a dozen other leased buildings to ensure a healthy workplace is a responsibility placed upon AC/S G4’s Facilities and Services sections at MCSC.
“We address miscellaneous items, such as malfunctions in the buildings and on the grounds at Marine Corps Systems Command,” said Anthony Parker, facilities and emergency manager at MCSC. “We also support all events the command may host or participate in, like the Summer Bash, Marine Week and Modern Day Marine.”
Facilities and Services tends to problems that arise within the buildings on Hospital Point and nearby leased facilities. If an overhead light goes dim, the crew fixes it. If a toilet is clogged or an air conditioning unit stops working, the department examines the issue, attempts to identify a solution and solves the problem.
“We are also responsible for the grounds—from [maintaining] trees, to clearing snow, to grass cutting,” said Parker.
While the department often resolves myriad issues that arise within the buildings G4 manages, they cannot fix every problem. Major damages must be handled by Marine Corps Base Quantico. For example, Facilities and Services relies upon the base if a pipe breaks or if air filters in larger units within the attic must be changed.
“There are certain things that we can fix in-house, such as clogged pipes,” said John Young, AC/S G4. “If we can’t fix something, we use MCB Quantico’s system to register that work requirement, and then we track that work requirement until they fulfill it.”
In addition to improving the buildings and premises, G4 manages a limited motor pool of government vehicles to support workforce travel. It is an assistance that not only reduces programs travel costs but contributes to a happier environment.
Air quality test results
Facilities and Services also works to ensure quality air in campus buildings. Recently, a company assessed the air quality in Building 2200 and found normal levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and relative humidity.
In the testing report, the inspectors suggested to regularly vacuum and dust the corridor to the building’s C-wing on the first deck and the central hallway on the second deck to continue to improve the air quality.
The air quality results indicated a drastic improvement from years’ past. From 2004 to 2015, the severity of problems in the building’s basement gradually increased. The basement also experienced flooding, exacerbating existing issues and affecting the air quality.
“People in the building began complaining about bad air quality,” said Young.
From 2005 to 2014, G4 via MCB Quantico requested military construction to remediate and respond to the many issues in the basement. In 2015, MCB Quantico, which owns the building, began repairing the basement. The undertaking involved installing new drainage systems, updating plumbing lines, removing old soiled carpeting and more.
Following this renovation project, an extensive cleaning project was executed that involved cleaning the ducts and the entire heating and air conditioning system’s equipment. After both projects concluded, the air quality improved dramatically.
Since then, periodic examinations of the building have shown that the air quality has returned to its former state. However, Facilities and Services continues to look for ways to ensure a healthy work environment.
“We change the filters out in each building every 30 days,” said Parker. “We want to make sure the workforce can breathe well because some people have asthma, sinus issues and respiratory problems.”
In recent years, Facilities and Services has made numerous improvements to Building 2200 and the surrounding buildings. They installed sump pumps that push water away from the building during inclement weather.
In December 2018, G4 renovated the cafeteria located in the basement by refurbishing the space and getting a new service company with updated breakfast and lunch menus.
Standing desks on the way
Some employees who work on Hospital Point will be getting standing desks soon.
Per the commander’s directive, MCSC is providing standing desks to employees within the workforce who request them. Standing desks are adjustable, providing the workforce the option to sit or stand while working.
Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity, Ground Combat Elements Systems, Training Systems and Light Armored Vehicles have already received standing desks.
“Everyone who wants a standing desk will get one, but it’s a process that is divided into phases,” said Dean Kleveno, MCSC’s Deputy AC/S G4.
The project is slated to be completed by the end of the fiscal year, said Young.
Standing desks have soared in popularity in the last decade. A 2017 report by Healthline showed that standing for long periods of time can lower a person’s risk of weight gain, high blood-sugar levels and back pain. Standing desks can also boost mood and energy levels.
“Medical research shows that sitting down all day isn’t healthy, so standing desks will give our workforce the option to avoid that,” said Parker.
Keeping the workforce healthy and happy is a primary mission of the Facilities and Services crew, said Parker. One way to do that is by offering a safe and comfortable place to work.
As Parker said, “We like to think outside the box to create a safer environment.”