To read the printed version of the article, please click on this link TFMoran in NEREJ June 2015
Hooksett, NH A groundbreaking ceremony for a $50 million, 55,000 square-foot expansion was recently held at the existing GE Aviation campus on Industrial Park Drive in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The expansion represents a state-of-the-art facility using the latest technology to manufacture components primarily for military and commercial grade aircraft engines. GE Aviation has long had a significant presence in New Hampshire, employing more than 1,100 across the state with 740 employees at its Hooksett facility alone. These Hooksett employees have manufactured vane sectors, tube assemblies, and blisks for assembly at other GE plants since the 1970s, but with GE’s progression to a new generation of engines, “Leading Edge Aviation Propulsion” or LEAP, the Hooksett facility required updating to continue its long history of successful manufacturing operations.
The groundbreaking was opened by GE Aviation Plant Manager Doug Folsom with Governor Maggie Hassan and several State dignitaries in attendance to mark the magnitude of the occasion. “It was not an easy process,” Folsom said in his address to the crowd “What came together was probably the most creative building expansion that GE has ever done: The state and the surrounding community have been invaluable partners, and I know those partnerships will bring even more success as we expand our facility at Hooksett”. His address also praised the Hooksett facility workforce noting their contributions to GE’s innovation and success. New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan remarked, “This expansion demonstrates GE Aviation’s long-term commitment to Hooksett and the State of New Hampshire, as well as how our state’s high quality of life, highly skilled workforce, low-tax environment and responsive state government make us as attractive a state for business as any in the country. We are grateful for GE Aviation’s commitment to the Granite State and the additional growth this expansion will help inspire across the state.” Additional speakers representing Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Ann McLane Kuster and Rep. Frank Guinta echoed similar sentiments praising the GE Hooksett workforce for their efforts and GE Aviation for their investment in New Hampshire.
Long before the gold plated shovels hit the ground to mark the official groundbreaking ceremony, the project began at ground level with the preparation of a civil/site design package and associated earthwork permit applications. This effort was led by GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. as the overall Project Manager for GE Aviation, who retained TFMoran to prepare the civil/site plan and permit package. As to be expected with the expansion of any existing structure, numerous design challenges faced the design team, but working diligently with Hooksett officials, State officials and local utility providers, the pertinent design issues were identified in advance and a unified approach was employed to solve each critical component. One such issue was the siting of the building expansion over a portion of Industrial Park Drive, a Town-owned road subject to a New Hampshire Department of Transportation curb cut on NH Route 3 (Hooksett Road).
According to Nick Golon, Senior Project Manager for TFMoran, “Such an undertaking took a coordinated site development effort, including formal discontinuance of the road with the Hooksett Board of Selectman – and that was just the tip of the iceberg; the remaining portion of the road had to be redesigned to account for local traffic, and utilities – including water, sewer, gas and electric – and Industrial Park Drive required relocation to accommodate the building expansion. And determination of underlying rights of ownership of land and easements including conveyances of various rights of ownership and passage were also integral to the siting of the building.”
“As stated in Plant Manager Doug Folsom’s opening address at the groundbreaking”, Golon continued, “this was not by any means an easy process, but in the end, the design team imagined something outside the box, and that something provided the best possible product for GE.”
The civil/site design and permitting is now complete and the design package has been turned over to the design-build team of Pure Development, consisting of Brasfield & Gorrie of Birmingham, Alabama as General Contractor with CSO Architects, who have assembled their team to prepare the building design and oversee construction. The project is expected to be complete in early 2016.