WEST POINT, N.Y. (July 23, 2014) -- Not too long ago, dozens of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, became very ill and missed classes.

According to the academy, this is because almost half of the Cadets are living in uncomfortable, crowded dorm rooms and that additional barracks are needed to relieve this situation.

They tapped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, to construct a new barracks since the agency has already successfully built numerous structures on the historic campus.

Presently, the district is blasting more than 100,000 cubic yards of rock to make way for the new barracks. The look of the new structure will fit in well with the rest of the 200-year-old campus, will be energy efficient, and will save taxpayers approximately $44,000 annually.

"A new barracks that meets current Army standards is needed to relieve overcrowding in the existing barracks," said Richard Mandra, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. "Right now, the entire first-year class and part of the second-year class are housed with three Cadets in rooms designed for two Cadets. This project will allow assignment of two Cadets per room."

The new cadet barracks is being designed and constructed by Army Corps contractor Walsh Construction Company of Chicago, Illinois, and its subcontractor, Clark Nexsen. The barracks will be 287,000 square feet in size and have six floors. Each floor will accommodate 130 Cadets in two-person rooms. The entire barracks will provide living space for 650 Cadets.

Cadets will be provided with bathrooms and showers, a laundry area, day rooms, office areas, study and collaboration rooms, trash and recycling areas and offices and storage rooms for the Cadets.

The barracks, like the surrounding buildings, will be constructed in the military gothic revival architecture style.

The design will include granite veneers or overlays, gothic arches, sally ports or secure entryways and crenelated parapets with embrasures and limestone accents. Parapets are structures that were constructed on the tops of castles and forts centuries ago that have openings for shooting from the top of the structure.

"The project is located at the Central Post of the main campus which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The barracks will be constructed of granite from a local supplier to match the existing buildings," said Matthew A. Ludwig, team leader, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District.

In addition, the design will also incorporate modern architectural features such as a curtain wall in the center of the fa├žade. A curtain wall is an outer covering of a building that keeps the weather out, such precipitation.

Unlike the other buildings constructed at West Point, the barracks will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certified. What will make it energy efficient are a solar hot water system and a radiant heating and cooling system.

During the heating season the radiant system that is being installed at the new Cadet barracks works by circulating heated water through tubing in the floor, while during the cooling season the radiant system works very much the same way, except the water is chilled and circulated through the same tubing.

The construction of the barracks is expected to be completed in Summer 2016, and Cadets will be able to use the new facility by the end of December 2016.

Page last updated Fri July 25th, 2014 at 13:11