MSFRIC construction continues
Crews work external construction for expansion and renovation of Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center. Although the outside of the facility is currently awash in mounds of red clay, activities inside the library are continuing as usual. (Air Force photo/Chris Baldwin)
MSFRIC construction continues



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


8/19/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Construction began last month on the $11.6 million renovation and addition to the Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, or MSFRIC, located at the center of the Academic Circle at Maxwell.

While construction is going on outside the building, the staff encourages visitors to use the outer circle parking lots. Handicap parking next to the building is expected to re-open next week.

The plan calls for updates to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as electrical, lighting and plumbing systems, additional shelf space and a 17,000-square-foot addition on the west side of the building, according to Terry Hawkins, chief of the reader services division.

"The prime contractor was given notice to proceed on July 18. They have started construction on the new addition, and that is proceeding on schedule," Hawkins said.

Upon completion, MSFRIC will include individual or small group study rooms and a 25-seat computer lab.

"We will also be able to provide better customer service in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment that is energy efficient," said Hawkins. The renovation was long overdue, he said, and he's glad to see the construction underway.

"Over the last 10 or 12 years, all of the other schools and organizations on the Academic Circle have undergone major renovations and additions to their facilities. Fairchild Library is past due for improvements in order to maintain our standing as the premier research facility within the Department of Defense," he said.

Even though renovations are ongoing, the library maintains its commitment to "protecting the various collections and resources while providing Air University faculty, staff, and students with the level of service they expect and deserve," said Hawkins.

As exterior construction continues the MSFRIC is preparing for the first phase of indoor construction, which will begin Oct. 18, according to Dr. Jeff Luzius, the director of the MSFRIC.

The project is expected to be completed in April 2013. In the meantime, Hawkins said guests will receive the same quality of service they always have.

"The MSFRIC staff will do their best to keep everyone informed and provide the highest level of service while moving and rearranging ahead of the construction crews. It's definitely an 'extreme makeover' with a huge number of moving parts!" he said.