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Arnold AFB Visitor Control Center renovation improves safety, service

Amy Brightbill, left, a new member of Team AEDC waits for her badge to be completed July 7, 2020, as Jack Horner, a subcontractor, waits his turn at the Visitor Control Center at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. A renovation expanded and upgraded the facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

Amy Brightbill, left, a new member of Team AEDC waits for her badge to be completed July 7, 2020, as Jack Horner, a subcontractor, waits his turn at the Visitor Control Center at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. A renovation expanded and upgraded the facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A renovation to the Visitor Control Center, shown here July 7, 2020, at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. expanded the facility and upgraded the interior and systems in the existing section. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

A renovation to the Visitor Control Center, shown here July 7, 2020, at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn. expanded the facility and upgraded the interior and systems in the existing section. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jill Pickett)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --

A renovation of the Visitor Control Center, or VCC, at Arnold Air Force Base, headquarters of Arnold Engineering Development Complex, has improved safety for the Team AEDC members that work there and service for the many individuals that pass through.

“It was a team effort to get such an amazing Visitor Control Center completed,” said Ray Kelly, chief of Arnold AFB Security Forces. “I look forward to the safety and security it will provide our workers, as well as the efficiency and comfort it will provide our customers.”

The renovation, completed in spring, included adding 827 square feet to the building, and an intercom system installed during the project allows VCC team members to notify people opting to wait outside when it is their turn.

“The project has improved flow in the VCC and doubled the service capability to reduce the wait time during high demand times,” said Jennifer Daugherty, AEDC Civil Engineering Branch Engineering Section project manager.

Prior to COVID-19 operational postures, the VCC would serve approximately 150 customers on an average Monday, the busiest day of the week. Customers include subcontractors, new hires for both government and contractors, military identifications, veterans, test customers and others.

The existing structure was completely remodeled, from floor to roof. This included updating the public restrooms to be Architectural Barriers Act compliant and adding an employee restroom and employee breakroom.

Service windows were added to separate VCC team members from customers and it also enhances security.

“The physical barrier between the visitor center employees and the customers is very important in the current time to protect the health of the employees during COVID-19 operations,” Daugherty said.

During the renovation, the VCC team operated out of a trailer to continue providing an essential service to Arnold. The move of the many required systems to the trailer and then back again was coordinated by April Candelaria, Visitor Control Center supervisor, with assistance from Jackie Hensley with the Resource Protection Program.

“Everyone that worked on the project was friendly and ready to help in any way possible to make the project successful,” Candelaria said. “I am delighted to be the supervisor of such a spectacular building.”