HESE crew pulls all-nighter
Construction continues day and night on the High Explosives Science and Engineering (HESE) facility.
Under a beautiful West Texas starry sky, crews recently placed the first of three 2-foot-thick concrete mat slabs at the High Explosives Science and Engineering (HESE) project’s HE Lab Building. The milestone required 10 concrete trucks to make more than 86 trips to the site.
“In my 16 years at the plant, I have never placed this much concrete,” Project Manager Chris Howard said about the 869 cubic yards of concrete.
The effort was originally planned for a May evening to take advantage of cooler night weather but was delayed three weeks due to historic Texas Panhandle rainfall. When the weather dried up, the steadfast construction support cast of Security, Safety, Construction Management, Quality, and Engineering pulled an all-nighter with design engineering firm Burns & McDonnell and subcontractor Hensel Phelps.
S. Kemp, subcontract technical representative, said great attitudes and participative decision-making made this placement a success, and he’s excited for the future.
“We continue to gain momentum and mesh together as a unit,” he said.
The team compiled lessons learned to apply to future concrete placements, as the project is expected to use more than 11,751 cubic yards of concrete.
When complete, the HESE will replace 15 obsolete facilities at Pantex, the average age of which is 68 years old. It will support the Pantex HE Center of Excellence for Manufacturing mission for NNSA by providing laboratory space, classified and unclassified office and meeting areas, and a shower and change-out area for HE Operations personnel all in closer proximity to HE manufacturing operations.