Corrections at the Correctional Center
February 06, 2024
Located in Windham, Maine, just 30 minutes north of Portland, is the Maine Correctional Center. Originally built in 1919, the center has been under construction for the past five years as part of an expansion and renovation plan being carried out by the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Maine Bureau of General Services (BGS). Chosen for its ability to provide asbestos abatement and both structural and select demolition services, NDA member EnviroVantage was awarded a subcontractor role on this project.
Planning a project at an active correctional facility requires high-security conditions be in place for the work site and the project personnel. EnviroVantage had the logistics experience of working on federal military sites, but the need for waste disposal trucks to enter and exit through multiple security gates each trip was a new complication. To address this time-consuming complication, EnviroVantage developed a plan in which security fencing would be raised and dismantled as needed to isolate the building scheduled for demolition from the rest of the facility. This solution allowed EnviroVantage to operate alongside the waste disposal trucks — which were adjacent to the campus — but outside the secure boundary during each mobilization.
A Job in Three Parts
Spanning across three mobilizations and nine buildings of the century-old, medium-security prison campus, the EnviroVantage crew began work in the fall of 2022. The project’s strategy required that at each building, the crew would first abate the asbestos containing materials (ACM) from exterior window glazing, floor tiles and mastics, then in crawl spaces on pipe insulations and fittings, followed by the roofing, and then finally move into demolition.
“The crew size on the project varied depending on the phase of the project,” says David Massaro, EnviroVantage project manager. “Some days we would have a crew performing asbestos abatement while another team of heavy equipment operators were working on demolition EnviroVantage’s first mobilization targeted the campus’s vocational and dining buildings, as well as one of its security buildings. When demolition started at the first building, previously unknown black mastic was found in between the brick exterior and interior walls. The suspect material was quickly identified by the crew, tested and came back hot for ACM. Because the EnviroVantage team is multi-disciplined, the crew on-site was able to pivot and perform the necessary abatement activity, which prevented any major schedule delays.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to keep a project moving by having cross-trained environmental and demolition experts on our job sites,” says Matt Preston, president of EnviroVantage. Once demolition was underway, trucking became a particular challenge that had to be overcome. A solution EnviroVantage employed was to take ownership of concrete processing by dedicating one of its three on-site excavators, the Komatsu PC 400, to the task. The company purchased a dedicated processing attachment, which was able to reduce the concrete down to 6-inch minus and be left on-site. Working diligently, the team was able to complete the abatement and demolition work on the first three buildings in time to be off-site by Christmas 2022.
In January 2023, the team demobilized to begin work on the demolition of the remaining buildings, which consisted of the school building, the administrative building, another security building and the gym. Taking place during the heart of a New England winter, the mobilization brought with it a new set of challenges.
The first building to be demolished was the gym but after the building came down and demolition of the foundation began, a secondary slab foundation from a former facility building was uncovered. This additional below-grade work was exceptionally difficult due to the winter conditions. Temperatures in Windham did not rise above freezing and hit a low of 12 degrees all throughout January, and there was snowfall on 23 out of the 31 days of the month. The EnviroVantage team, with the right equipment and gear, was able to work through the harsh winter weather conditions and keep its schedule. After approximately two months for the second phase, EnviroVantage completed the demolition and demobilized from the project site in March 2023.
The final mobilization took place in the summer of 2023 with the team being contracted to support the renovations of existing structures with select demolition and abatement of ACM in the dormitories.
One for the Books
EnviroVantage finished work in August 2023 and considers the job one of its most successful projects completed in 2023. The value of its multidisciplined labor force was in full effect on this project, which helped to benefit the overall construction schedule. The security requirements of the site also provided unique and interesting challenges that encouraged EnviroVantage’s team to leverage its culture of problem-solving to address them successfully.
With the project at the Maine Correctional Center now complete, the upgrades and renovations have modernized the security measures and improved the facilities for job training and education.
- 2 Volvo EC250EL excavators
- 1 Bobcat T590 compact track loader
- 1 Brokk 100 machine
- 1 Komatsu PC400 hydraulic excavator
- Genesis shear with grapple attachment
- Burning setup
- Percentage of waste material recycled: 50%
- Duration: 11 months (across three mobilizations)
- Crew size: 6-15