Officer Training Command Quarters – Naval Station Newport

Newport, RI

This $45M, design-build project included demolition and abatement of the existing 143,000 SF Nimitz Hall and new construction of a three-story military housing facility. The new, 126,000 SF facility contains dormitory housing for 464 Officer Training Command (OTC) students in 116 residential unit modules. Common areas include an entrance vestibule, laundry rooms, weight room, exercise room, locker rooms, lounge with kitchenette, and mail room. Command, administrative, and facility support spaces include a command suite, offices, work spaces, conference rooms, indoor training environments, armory, copy/print rooms, storage rooms, housekeeping/janitor closet, recycling space, and loading dock. A 15,000 SF outdoor “grinder” area is provided adjacent to the building for formations, marching and physical training. Additional work included site work, utilities, landscaping, two parking lots, and antiterrorism/ force protection (AT/FP), including progressive collapse. The project was constructed to meet LEED Gold standards.

After contract award, and just prior to the first design submittal, the Navy requested the building be redesigned to increase the overall square footage by 25%. Absher mitigated this major schedule impact by facilitating a new design charrette and over-the-shoulder reviews with the Navy, which allowed all parties to outline the effects this change would have on all design disciplines. This proactive approach allowed the Navy to issue a Notice to Proceed much faster than following the traditional RFP process and minimized the impacts to the critical path.

Later in the project, we discovered extensive hazardous contamination buried on the site, including refrigerants and building debris containing asbestos, PCBs, and mercury, as well as asbestos and mold in the existing building that was to undergo demolition. Absher worked closely with the Navy to revise the schedule and modify the contract to allow for the additional work required. Immediately after the unforeseen conditions were discovered, we began working with our civil subcontractor and demolition subcontractor to apply for the necessary permits and proactively plan for the extra equipment we would need to remediate the site. This minimized the permit waiting period and also allowed us to begin remediation as soon as authorization was received from the Navy. Our proactive approach saved weeks on the critical path of the project schedule.

The Navy’s construction manager for the project stated, “Regardless of numerous unforeseen conditions, Absher continually managed to keep the project on-track and on-budget. They maintained focus on the issues and protected the government’s best interest during change conditions by closely interacting with subcontractors to provide reasonable price proposals for required work. Absher’s performance on this contract was outstanding. In my 27 years working for the Navy, I have not had a better experience with a contractor.”

Quick Facts

  • $38,229,000
  • 118,000 SF
  • LEED Gold
  • Owner: NAVFAC MidAtlant
  • Architect: Tetra Tech


  • NAVFAC MidAtlant