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NEWS | April 22, 2021

Groundbreaking ceremony held for newest barracks project at Fort McCoy

By Scott Sturkol Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office

Fort McCoy senior leaders, Army Corps of Engineers and contractor representatives, and other distinguished guests participated in a special groundbreaking ceremony April 15 to highlight the start of the construction of a second modern transient training barracks on post.

Fort McCoy leaders participating included Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, 88th Readiness Division commanding general and Fort McCoy senior commander; Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss; Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Director Liane Haun; Sean Giese, resident engineer with the Omaha District Corps of the Army Corps of Engineers; and James French, chief operating officer with LS Black Constructors. Also attending were Wisconsin State Rep. Nancy VanderMeer and staff personnel for other state and federal lawmakers.

Haun opened the ceremony discussing the $18.8 million project that was awarded to L.C. Black Constructors in September 2020. It is also the contractor building the first barracks building, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resident Office at Fort McCoy. The contract duration is scheduled for completion in 780 calendar days. Currently contract completion is scheduled for December 2022. 

Guthrie followed Haun to discuss the importance of the construction of only the second and third brick-and-mortar barracks at Fort McCoy since the 1940s.

“Projects like the transient training barracks complex are a direct result of the continued support for Fort McCoy,” Guthrie said. “And they enhance the ability of the Army, and especially the Army Reserve, to train here at Fort McCoy. The United States Army Reserve is the key customer for Fort McCoy. Its economic impact alone in Wisconsin is $323 million a year.”

Poss followed Guthrie and highlighted how construction projects like the barracks projects add to a big economic impact in the local area. Fort McCoy’s total economic impact for fiscal year 2020 was an estimated $1.479 billion, above the $1.184 billion reported for fiscal year 2019.

Poss also said that despite the difficulty the pandemic presented, Fort McCoy trained more than 60,000 troops in fiscal year 2020 and continues to strive forward with continued training and infrastructure improvements like the barracks projects.

“Fort McCoy continues to demonstrate its resolve to be a preferred training location for the Army Reserve, the National Guard, active Army, and joint services,” Poss said. “Our efforts today ensure that Fort McCoy’s relevance as a Total Force Training Center are here for many years to come.”

Guthrie, Poss, French, and Giese also performed a ceremonial breaking of the ground with shovels at the construction site. Numerous attendees also received a tour of the construction site of the first barracks project, which is more than 80 percent complete. A ceremony for the first project was not held in 2020 because it would have happened just as the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Ground preparation and infrastructure construction for the second barracks has been ongoing since early March. Like the first barracks project, the second also will be four stories and will be able to house 400 people in approximately 60,000 square feet.

The building also will be built with the latest in construction materials and will include state-of-the-art physical security and energy-saving measures.

Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”

Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.

The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.

Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.