By Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Carla Giglio
Defense Information School
An over 80,000-square-foot expansion project at the Defense Information School here is now slated to be completed in January 2016, said Mikel Griffith, the director of logistics at DINFOS.
Griffith said his plan is to use a holiday period in late December, known as exodus, to ensure that classes that begin in January can be conducted entirely in the new wing.
“My goal is during the two-week exodus to bring all the staff members and equipment over to the new building,” he said.
Another motivation for Griffith is the expiration date of the rental contract for the trailers in which classes are conducted on south campus. The contract is scheduled to expire Jan. 8.
The $40 million expansion project – with 18 regular-sized classrooms and four 75-person class rooms – was intended to accommodate a 30 percent annual increase in the number of students at the school.
The new wing will boast a glassed atrium to join the existing school building to the new wing; a restaurant and lounge area for both students and faculty members; a study area for students; a large conference room; two recycling areas; and a fitness center, with showers, for the staff.
Ground was broken in 2012, with completion originally scheduled for November 2014.
For a number of reasons, the project fell a year behind, Griffith said.
Cable, internal wiring and relocation problems interrupted the timely progress of the project, he said. Frequent snow storms at the beginning of 2015 played an unexpected role in the delay of the project as well.
An expansion project involves more than construction, Griffith said.
It consists of in-depth planning, and working with multiple groups, including contractors, designers and engineers.
Griffith, a retired Army logistics specialist, said the service members at DINFOS motivate him to complete a quality project, and he has confidence in the ability of his team to do that.
DINFOS students deserve the best while they are in school because they can be sent to some tough environments after they graduate, Griffith said.
“Customer service is my top priority, and the students are my customers,” he said.