Public works director is essential to Quonset's success

There's no single component that explains the recent success of Quonset Business Park as an engine of economic development for our state. With more than 175 companies, 9,100 jobs - and the Port of Davisville recognized as one of the top ten auto importers on the continent - it is clear our progress is the result of many members of a team all working together.

This month, I want to take an opportunity to introduce you to one of our team members whose role here is critically important. It cuts to the heart of maintaining our infrastructure, which is one of the leading elements of our success.

Jack Sprengel is director of public works for the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC). He is affectionately known as the "last guy to shut off the lights," since he was stationed here when Davisville shut down as a Navy base in 1994. Jack retired after serving 20 years active duty with the U.S. Navy Seabees and Navy Civil Engineer Corp as a decorated chief warrant officer.

Soon after closing the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Jack began a new career with the Rhode Island Port Authority (RIPA) in the fall of 1994. Because of his experience in the Navy, he was quickly moved to the operations department and assigned work with the RIPA and the U.S. Navy to manage caretaker maintenance responsibilities for the now closed Naval Construction Battalion Center.

The contract was successfully negotiated and awarded for a five-year period at a cost of $5 million for RIPA to perform various facility maintenance activities on the former base for the Navy. Following that, Jack remained in the operations department writing policies and procedures, and working on various small maintenance contracts. He also worked as one of the two Harbor Masters docking vessels at the Port of Davisville. With the downsizing of RIPA, he was asked to supervise the maintenance department along with his operations department duties. The maintenance work included some 80-plus buildings, 16 miles of roadway, and supporting preparation for the Quonset Air Show every year.

Click here to read the full online article on the New England Real Estate Journal.