Warrior Transition Battalion Complex construction officially kicks off
January 16, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - In a single ceremony, Fort Riley celebrated both the groundbreaking for the Warrior Transition Battalion Complex as well as the signing of the Army Warrior Care Covenant.
The ceremony, which took place Jan. 9 in the clamshell building next to Irwin Army Community Hospital, marked the official beginning of work on the first WTB Complex in the entire Army.
According to Brig. Gen. Perry Wiggins, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, the ceremony symbolized not only the beginning of construction, but also the commitment of the community, the post, and the Army to wounded warriors and their Families.
"Apart from the war itself, the care of our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their Families is our top priority," said Col. Howard Merritt, commander of the WTB.
Two contracts were awarded for the project, the first to MW Builders of Texas. Valued at about $24 million, the contract was for the site work and the barracks, which will have more than 130 rooms, some of which will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.
The second contract, for the administrative spaces, was valued at $11 million and awarded to Allotech International, based in Colorado.
Both contracts are scheduled to be completed in 2010, and the complex is expected to be troop ready in a little over a year.
"Now the focus changes from concepts to construction," said Col. Roger Wilson Jr., district commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Once Wilson finished speaking, hard hats were donned and shovels dug into a box filled with dirt. Accompanied by the sounds of construction outside of the building, work officially began on the first WTB complex.
With the groundbreaking complete, the Army Warrior Care Covenant was signed by 13 individuals, including two WTB Soldiers.
The covenant is a way to represent the Army's commitment to the care of Soldiers and their Families on all levels.
The ceremony concluded with members of the 1st Inf. Div. Band playing the Big Red One song and the Army song. Refreshments were served after the event.