Preserving a rich history to make room for the future
By Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 18, 2015
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 140th Wing on Buckley Air Force Base is renovating Hangar 909 to bolster infrastructure and enhance the capabilities of the facility. The renovations, which have already begun, are intended to improve and refurbish a multitude of different functional areas within the facility and will improve the energy efficiency of the hangar once completed.
"The main goal of the renovation project is to return the exterior of the building to its original design by replacing the windows and restoring the original concept, removing the outside canopies and modifying the building entrance," said Bret Hoffberger, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron cultural resource manager. "The building is in need of repair. Several of the safety features such as the fire suppression systems need to be updated and lead paint and asbestos need to be removed."
The hangar will house 13 different units once renovations are completed and will enhance the facility's capabilities in order meet future mission requirements.
"The building will become functional and efficient for its users again," Lt. Col. Thomas Nefe, 140th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy wing civil engineer. "The building will become a beautiful modernized building with a historic look and have all the latest efficiencies designed into it such as photovoltaics, a geothermal system, an energy recovery unit, daylighting, as well as meet anti-terrorism force protection and safety standards. This is the first and last building visitors will see that come onto or leave Buckley AFB from the flight line. It will set that first impression."
The renovations are also set to make room for F-16 Fighting Falcon simulators. These simulators will be used for training guard personnel and will increase the mission load of the 140th Wing. Another benefit of the simulators is that they have the capability to transform in order to take on the F-35 Lightning II platform.
With renovations to the hangar on the horizon, Colorado preservationists have gotten involved in the project to sort through years of records and materials that have been compiled within the building.
The Colorado State Preservation Office, Colorado Preservation Inc. and Aurora History Museum and Historic Sites were taken on a tour of Hangar 909 by Lt. Col. William Smith, 140th Civil Engineer Squadron base civil engineer, Nefe and Hoffberger. The purpose of the tour was to show the preservationists what type of renovations would be conducted as well as present materials that may be worth saving for historical purposes.
From old aircraft engines to archived photos, posters and documents, artifacts within the hangar tell of a rich history over several decades.
"Materials will be repurposed if possible within the building, but will also be used to create displays," Hoffberger said. "Currently the plan is to have a display within Building 909 then one at the Aurora History Museum as well as Wings over the Rockies Museum."
Hangar 909 renovations are projected to be completed towards the end of 2017. The enhanced and up- to-date facility will be ready to take on the rapidly evolving mission facing our Air Force.
"All in all, renovating this building will change a space that is currently underutilized into one that will be highly functional at meeting the needs of the mission for years to come while preserving the building's historic integrity," Hoffberger said.