190th, K-State partner for base vision

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Angela Brees
  • 190th Public Affairs
Ten teams from Kansas State University's architecture school pitched their ideas for a green and picturesque Forbes Field in a small, brightly lit classroom at the university Nov. 10.

Through a partnership with K-State, Lt. Col. Mark Green and the Civil Engineering Squadron are working with students of the landscape architecture program to brainstorm a new master plan for the base.

"Called a charrette process, this is a way for us to discover different solutions for the plan," said Green, Civil Engineering Squadron commander. "We may not have thought of some of these ideas; and, some may ultimately be incorporated into the master plan."

Landscape architecture is about a lot more than bushes or tree placement. It encompasses planning for rain water management, environmental sustainability, security restrictions, emergency management response and ground maintenance costs - and these are just a few of the concerns. Plans must also allow for future growth of the base.

"The students came up with some really creative ways to fulfill our requirements," said Maj. Jacob Salmond, Civil Engineering Squadron. "It's amazing they were able to provide us with such detail with only one site visit to the base."

Another factor the students must consider is how wing members will access the work spaces, such as the new hangar. As the plans may significantly impact maintenance personnel, Lt. Col. Tony Dejesus, Maintenance Group deputy commander, also attended the presentations.

"As we transition to the 21st century, it's important that we design spaces for the 21st century mission. One that meets the workload, is safe for the environment and conserves energy - a base that will be around for the next 50 years," he said.

"It's great the university is working so closely with us on these plans," Dejesus continued. "It shows a great relationship between the State of Kansas, the Air National Guard and Kansas State University."

Four classes from K-State are working on different aspects of the base, including future trails, flight line drainage, parking lot changes, and, of course, a master plan.

"This is a great opportunity for these students," Salmond said. "I wish there would have been more classes like that when I went to engineering school!"

Overall, it's a great opportunity for everyone involved, Green said.

"This partnership provides the Air National Guard with great exposure to local assets," Green said. "The students have an opportunity to garner experience they need to graduate, and we are able to gather creative new designs for the future of our base."

"Ultimately, we'll have a master plan that will set the tone for the future of Forbes. And, it will be a tool for the wing commander and state leadership to show how we can adapt our mission - for whatever the future holds."