A two-month parking lot renovation at the USAF Test Pilot School reached completion during the first week of November. The project was first discussed in 2011 and the contract was drawn up during fiscal year 2012.
The old parking lot was filled with pot holes and the stripes marking each parking space were worn out.
The new lot is resurfaced with new stripes, new lights and a designated motorcycle parking area made of concrete to prevent damage from kickstands. The red carpet area leading from the school to the ramp was repainted and the drainage for the parking lot was improved.
According to Tech Sgt. Bryce Davis, Flight Chief Qualitative Evaluation Office and Acting superintendent at TPS, the most important change was compliance with the antiterrorism standards, which required the first row of spaces to be moved farther away from the building.
The space was filled with desert, rock landscaping and additional sidewalks were added to create safer walkways to the building. While moving the front line left less room for parking spaces, the lot gained around 10 spaces on the western end of the lot, according to Davis.
The dirt area at the end of the lot was also smoothed out to be used for overflow parking.
While the project was being worked on, staff and students alike were forced to find other areas to park. Some parked by Bldg.1222 and the Air Force Test and Evaluation Center detachment, while others utilized the dirt lot across the street.
“That was quite a challenge for us. We had to come up with some makeshift parking areas,” said Davis.
“There was no crosswalk from the dirt lot so it was a little awkward. But it was the price that everybody realized we had to pay.”
Davis estimates the project is valued at around $283,000. At the same time, construction on Ramp Two began. The ramp, which encompasses a much larger area, was valued at $463,000.
“As a facility manager I want us to be compliant, so for me the biggest deal was the antiterrorism measure,” said Davis. “They made the lot look a lot nicer and made it more efficient.”