Several projects ongoing at Grand Forks Air Force Base including construction on a new maintenance facility

The $4.3 million project, which started in September, is about 50% completed and is anticipated to be finished in August.

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From left; Don Phillips, civil engineer; Lea Greene, public affairs chief for the 319th Reconaissance Wing, and Mike VanAmburgh, munitions accountable systems officer, walk through a cold war era munitions maintenance and inspections facility that is slated for demolition after the new facility is completed at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS – Construction on a new munitions maintenance facility and other projects is underway at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

The $4.3 million munitions facility is about 50% complete and is anticipated to be finished in August. The demolition of the current maintenance facility will be completed once everything is moved into the new building.

Don Phillips, civil engineer/project manager for new munitions maintenance building, said the current building has reached the end of its service life. Scott Rudolf, chief of engineering at the base, said the current maintenance facility was starting to deteriorate.

The new building will also be downsized to 2,700 square feet — compared to the current 37,000 square feet — to save on energy costs and to fit the number of current personnel who will use the building.

“The new facility will be right-sized for the number of personnel currently assigned there,” Phillips said.


The current cold-war era maintenance building was built 43 years ago and was used for the base's nuclear mission. Phillips said the largest portion in the building is garage space, where missiles would be brought in.

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A munitions inspection facility, under construction, is photographed Thursday, March 2, 2023 at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The building isn’t the oldest on base, though Rudolf said other older buildings are still in good condition and being used.

Other work is ongoing too, including a $862,000 project on the Wing Headquarters, which is among the first buildings on the base, dating back to the 1950s.

Greg Sturdevant, project manager for the headquarters building, said the work is centered on the original portion of the building and consists of replacing the floor and wall finishes, fire alarm systems and HVAC units. Sturdevant said the last major interior finishes were completed around 15 years ago.

Work is anticipated to be completed in the headquarters building this summer.

Additional projects on base include:

  • Work at Dakota Lanes to upgrade bowling lanes, equipment and computer software at a cost of $235,000, which was completed last month.
  • Demolition of a temporary lodging facility, which is past its useful life. The $189,000 project started in October.
  • Replacement of carpet and transition strips in the Kollinger and Eielson dormitories at a price of $240,000. Work on the project started in January.
  • Rehabilitating fire alarms to National Fire Code compliance, consisting of installing new fire alarm and detection systems with upgraded communication to emergency services in the Youth Center, which started in January and will cost $280,000.
  • Repairing fire alarm system utilities and installing new fire alarms to National Fire Code standards for the passenger terminal at a price of $270,000. Work on the project started in December.
  • Removing old cold storage, retrofitting for new perishable items storage equipment and installing new refrigeration equipment in the Child Development Center at a price of $130,000. Work on this project also started in December.

Rudolf said the amount of construction on base fluctuates yearly depending on funding, which trickles down from the Department of Defense.
“It fluctuates dramatically,” Rudolf said. “In the last couple of years the budgets haven’t been real robust so our project count is fewer. In years past we’ve had years with $20-plus million worth of work and more depending on air field work. The last couple of years have been a little bit lean and that’s part of the entire country, I think.”

Rudolf said the base also is looking to fill vacancies for architects and engineers.


“Over the last number of years that’s turned into a situation where we have more vacancies than we need,” he said. “... We always seem to have revolving openings and they’re hard-to-fill positions.”

Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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