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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Phillips: Marine academy capital improvement plan 'will address the academy's most urgent needs'

Mentioned projects include the rehabilitation of the Samuels Hall academic building, the rehabilitation of the Fulton-Gibbs complex including engineering labs, a plan to remove a dilapidated pier and a plan to protect the waterfront basin, according to a Jan. 6 news release. Looking ahead, the capital improvement program aims to address stormwater management on the campus and the construction of a new academic building and student activity center.

“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,” Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips said in the release. “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.”

The improvements are in response to recommendations from the National Academy of Public Administration, a non-profit organization that specified multiple critical areas for improvement. In its November 2021 report, Organizational Assessment of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy: A Path Forward, NAPA recommended improvements based on the safety of both midshipmen and the larger USMMA community and body.

The report also recommended the creation of a new Facilities Executive position with the USMMA, which was filled by Rebecca Macpherson's appointment to the role in November, according to the news release. The seatholder is a member of the senior executive service expected to manage USMMA's capital and maintenance program 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," Phillips said in the release. "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.”

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