Wainwright Hall gets a makeover
(From the left) A senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Rep. James "Jim" Moran, Jr., Chair of U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers, Chief Executive Officer of Americas Lend Lease Robert McNamara, Development Manager for Lend Lease (U.S.) Public Partnerships Gretchen Griffin, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) Katherine Hammack, General Manager Shabi Khan and Vice President of Operations - IHG Army Hotels Arthur Holst cut the ribbon at IHG Army Hotel's Wainwright Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall June 25.

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Historic Wainwright Hall on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall has a new look and a fresh way to serve on-the-move service members, their Families and government travelers.

The 108-year-old building on Jackson Avenue has undergone a massive renovation and is now part of the Privatization of Army Lodging (PAL) Program, an Army-led program that revitalizes on-post facilities.

During a June 25 ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked the completion of the project, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) Katherine Hammock said the PAL program began in 2009, when developer Lend Lease assumed ownership of more than 3,200 rooms located across 10 Army installations. With its operations partner, InterContinental Hotels Group, Lend Lease undertook renovations at Wainwright Hall which brought it up to IHG's standards.

"It's always great to see old buildings restored or brought back to life in a way that reflects their heritage and also acknowledges that it's something we want to do for generations beyond the current generation," she said.

Over the past four years, PAL has expanded to 39 installations. When the program is complete, it will end up with 9,000 renovated rooms and 2,600 newly constructed ones to replace failed or failing facilities.

Hammack said that PAL builds on the legacy of the Residential Communities Initiative, which she called an opportunity to provide soldiers and their families with quality housing through the public-private partnership.

"This partnership is what we're here to celebrate today," she underscored.

Kentucky Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, who serves as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, also lauded the partnership.

"Lend Lease, IHG and the Army are to be highly commended for the idea; one, of making this happen, and two, of saving money and also providing some really class places for service members to stay at," he said.

Hammack said that many people don't realize that lodges like Wainwright Hall have been on Army posts for centuries. She stressed that the partnership to restore and build new lodges "is not something that is in competition with the private sector, but is recognizing that the Army requires lodging to help soldiers who are changing stations, moving from one place to another, a place ... to stay temporarily while their new housing is being arranged."

On-post lodges like Wainwright Hall also provide a place for soldiers to stay while they receive training and are ideal locations for business gatherings, she said.

"Above all, it's a way to help us manage expenses," Hammack continued. "One of the unique things about the PAL program and the partnership is that the cost of these newly renovated rooms will be 75 percent of [a service member's] per diem, which enables our soldiers to have the flexibility to fund some of the costs associated with TDY travel or PCS moves."

Hammack said the PAL investment creates a sustainable solution for Army lodging challenges that are done in an environmentally-friendly manner.

"The energy efficiency features, new HVAC system, lighting system and control, are projected to reduce energy costs by 30 percent," she said.

Hammack called the partnership a "model that helps us deliver services to our soldiers and families that they need in order to fight the fight."

Robert McNamara, chief executive officer of Lend Lease Americas, said his company is committed to safety, innovation and sustainability.

"From a non-hazardous materials standpoint, over 75 percent of the materials here are either recycled or reused," he said. "So this is truly sustainability at work and in action in a very important way."

According to Lisa MacInns, the newly renovated rooms list the amenities guests can enjoy while staying at the facility, including its rewards program.

"We offer a free breakfast every morning cooked to order, shuttle service, we're pet-friendly," she said. "We have free Internet access."

For more information about the facility, call 703-696-3576.

Page last updated Fri June 28th, 2013 at 09:21