The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA or Academy) released the USMMA Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Annual Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. MARAD and the USMMA also announced that two key recommendations from the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) have been implemented that will improve the institution’s ability to deliver capital projects.
Among the many projects the FY 2022 CIP supports are the rehabilitation of the academic building Samuels Hall, the rehabilitation of the Fulton-Gibbs complex including essential engineering labs, and projects to remove a dilapidated pier and protect the waterfront basin. Over the longer term, the FY 2022 CIP seeks to address stormwater management on the campus and construct both a new academic building and an activity center for students.
“The 2022 CIP prioritizes projects that will address the Academy’s most urgent needs to provide a safer and more secure campus, support Midshipmen well-being, and advance USMMA’s academic mission,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips (Rear Admiral, USN, Ret.). “MARAD has also prioritized the implementation of new measures to improve the effective management of capital investments at USMMA and ensure that they yield urgently needed infrastructure in a timely manner.”
In November 2021, NAPA published its “Organizational Assessment of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy: A Path Forward.” This report identified numerous, systemic challenges in the management of operations at USMMA, including the oversight of capital programs.
The report recommended the creation of a new Facilities Executive position at USMMA, which has been fulfilled with the appointment of Rebecca MacPherson in November 2022, a member of the Senior Executive Service to manage USMMA’s capital and maintenance programs on a two-year basis.
“Under Rebecca’s leadership for the past six months, we have been tackling our most urgent facilities challenges at the USMMA. We are incredibly fortunate that Rebecca has agreed to continue to lead capital and maintenance efforts and to spearhead the creation of a modern facilities management system at Kings Point,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.
In addition, the NAPA report recommended that USMMA expand its maintenance capacity by adopting a campus maintenance contract. On December 12, USMMA fulfilled this recommendation with the award of a campuswide maintenance contract that could total as much as $42 million over 5 years.
To read the 2022 CIP, please visit FY 2022 USMMA Capital Improvement Plan Annual Report | MARAD (dot.gov)