By Paula C. Squires
A Richmond-based commercial office furniture company is helping to transform the instructional and training space at Fort Lee near Petersburg. Smarter Interiors has 30 installers on site as it manages the space design and furnishings of 450,000 square feet of space across four buildings. The value of the contract with the government, about $2.5 million, represents the largest job the company has ever taken on, said spokeswoman Pamela McElrath.
Smarter Interiors turned its attention to federal government work four years ago. The massive job at the military base comes from a base realignment and closure (BRAC) project that sparked $1.2 billion worth of new construction. When completed later this year, the U. S. Army Ordnance Center and School will house 600 military personnel and 300 civilians. Smarter Interiors plans to finish its work by June. W. M. Jordan Co. of Newport News is building the $70 million Central Campus 2 building. There are many challenges to federal work, McElrath said, such as meeting deadlines to avoid fines, and submitting competitive bids.
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