FORT McCOY, Wis. –
Fort McCoy’s senior leadership, state and federal representatives and staffers, and dozens of installation community members as well as several local media representatives celebrated the opening of the first new multi-million dollar transient troop training barracks at Fort McCoy during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on post May 18.
A $20.6 million contract was awarded to L.S. Black Constructors, Inc., in September 2019 to build the barracks, said Ken Green with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resident Office at Fort McCoy which managed the project. The barracks, which is built in the 1600 block on the cantonment area, is different than traditional barracks that are located throughout the installation. This new building is four stories and is able to house 400 people in approximately 60,000 square feet.
Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Director Liane Haun served as the master of ceremonies for the ribbon-cutting event. Haun said the new barracks was only the second brick-and-mortar barracks built on post since 1942.
“Today is another historic moment at Fort McCoy as we assemble to cut the ribbon on the second permanent transient training barracks building at Fort McCoy since the Fort McCoy (cantonment area) was constructed in 1942,” Haun said. “I have witnessed several ribbon-cutting ceremonies in my time at Fort McCoy, and each one brings great satisfaction to see the fruits of everyone’s labors come to fruition.”
Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, Fort McCoy senior commander and commanding general of the 88th Readiness Division at Fort McCoy, praised the opening of the new facility.
“As you can see behind me, these barracks are quite different from all the other traditional barracks,” Guthrie said. “Projects like the transient training barracks (here) are a direct result of community support and especially the support of elected officials. They enhance the ability of the Army, and especially the Army Reserve, to train here at Fort McCoy.
“One of the Army Reserve’s, and therefore one of my top priorities, is our people,” Guthrie said. “The completion of this new barracks is one example of taking care of our Soldiers.”
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss followed Guthrie with similar praise for the completion of the new barracks.
“Today’s ribbon cutting signifies the economic importance of Fort McCoy to Wisconsin, this region, and our nation,” Poss said. “This barracks project us also part of the Army’s effort to ensure our Soldiers have an excellent quality of life when they come here to train.
“In recent years, we’ve continued to ensure our nation’s Soldiers and other service members have a modern and relevant installation in which to train,” Poss said.
Fort McCoy DPW accepted the building from the Army Corps of Engineers on April 1. DPW Master Planner Brian Harrie, who has been a part of the project all along, said the new barracks is part of the Fort McCoy Master Plan that looks at continuously upgrading the installation’s infrastructure to be prepared for the future.
“This barracks building is constructed on the west side of the site, near the recently constructed dining facility 1672 and has ample parking and other amenities,” Harrie said.
The project also was the first of eight new buildings planned for the entire 1600 block, Harrie said. The plan is for four barracks overall with the same specifications, three 20,000-square-foot brigade headquarters buildings, and one 160-room officer quarters.
“The 1600 block will be completely transformed when all of this construction is completed years from now,” Harrie said in 2019. “The 1600 block is a great location for this transformation, too, because it places these facilities for transient training troops near the post’s service-related facilities, such as the commissary, Exchange, and McCoy’s Community Center.”
Big construction projects like this barracks project also contribute to the economic impact Fort McCoy has on the local economy. Fort McCoy’s total economic impact for fiscal year 2021 was an estimated $1.93 billion, above the $1.479 billion reported for FY 2020, garrison officials announced. The data was compiled by Fort McCoy’s Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.
Fiscal year 2021 operating costs on post of $249.88 million included utilities, physical plant maintenance, repair and improvements, new construction projects, purchases of supplies and services, as well as salaries for civilian contract personnel working at Fort McCoy, officials said.
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 https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
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