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Posted 4/30/2015

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By Sean McBride
Public Affairs


Car maintenance, home maintenance and computer maintenance; all of these are necessary tasks to keep things running properly. Federal agencies also have to do preventive maintenance to ensure they can successfully complete their missions.

Preventive maintenance isn’t meant to be a line of work that gets a lot of visibility. It’s meant to stop problems before they arise that could cost thousands of dollars in repairs, replacements and time- that’s the point.

In support of the Department of Public Works, preventive maintenance is just part of what the Charleston District is doing under a new $7 million Facility Investment Services contract at Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC. Along with preventive maintenance work, the District is also performing service calls when small things break in any of 68 specified buildings, such as door handles, pumps, showers, toilets or ceiling tiles. The District can also perform some bigger repairs that take an extended period of time, such as replacing an HVAC system.

“Our guys are committed to answering service calls at any hour,” said Max Carroll, project manager. “This is great work because it is meaningful, behind-the-scenes work that gets a lot of necessary things done and enables other people to do their jobs efficiently.”

The Fort Jackson Department of Public Works asked the District to perform the work for the 68 buildings, totaling approximately 4.6 million square feet. Most of these buildings were ones that the District either built new or renovated within the last 10-15 years, so District personnel know which areas of a building are served by different pieces of equipment.

“We were heavily-involved in the design, construction and final commissioning of many of these buildings, so we know how they were intended to perform,” said Cole Gatewood, mechanical engineer. “That familiarity saves lots of hours of troubleshooting when a system goes down. The efforts we put in translate into improved quality of life for our Soldiers and increased longevity of the facilities.”

The District has worked with the DPW on many occasions since beginning work at Fort Jackson in 2008, and they knew about the preventive maintenance work the District has done with other agencies, such as the Army Reserve’s 81st Regional Support Command and the Marine Forces Reserve.

“This is a different arena for us,” said Carroll. “Previously, we have done preventive maintenance mostly on military reserve buildings, which are only occupied sporadically. Fort Jackson is a full-time operating post.”

Since the contract began in October 2014, the District has completed more than 1,500 service calls, performed preventive maintenance on more than 1,000 pieces of equipment, and completed seven large repairs. This work allows our engineers to provide engineering services to the installation while also maintaining our technical competency in facility engineering. With limited funding for military construction projects around the country, this contract allows the District to focus on supporting customers at their request with their priority critical maintenance needs.

The Charleston District is working closely with the DPW to ensure that priority tasks are carried out with an appropriate sense of urgency throughout the whole team to guarantee a successful mission.

MILCON