Stimulus money aimed at facility improvements
May 22, 2009
By Vince Little
FT BENNING, Ga. More than two dozen facilities on Fort Benning will get needed facelifts from millions in federal stimulus dollars pumped through the Defense Department, a Directorate of Public Works official said.
Mark J. Fincher, chief of the organization's business operations and integration division, said 31 projects are planned in the next two years, including a $9.75 million Ranger barracks renovation. All but 10 should be completed in 2009.
Last week, the DoD announced it's allocating $4.26 billion from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to upgrade thousands of buildings. That includes energy-related improvements to military medical facilities. The Army alone is expected to get $1.74 billion for public works.
A total of $130 million has been earmarked for Georgia's military bases.
Fort Benning will receive about $31 million in stimulus spending for its restoration efforts, Fincher said.
"It enables us to pursue projects in the DPW this year that we normally would've had to wait until next year for. It's extra funding," he said. "Every week, we are required to update the status of every one of these projects we received money for. It's a little extra work, but gosh, that's a small price to pay for the free money."
Nearly a third of it will go toward refurbishing Building 2832, a three-story, 39,000-square-foot barracks used by the 75th Ranger Regiment's 3rd Ranger Battalion.
Other major projects at Fort Benning include: $3.267 million to decentralize the boiler plant at Building 397 and construct eight standalone units; $2.9 million to repair and upgrade a storm sewer between Wold Avenue and Ingersoll Street; $1.534 million to repair and modernize a storm sewer from Sigerfoos Road to Wold; and $1.5 million to replace the roof at Kyle Hall for the 29th Infantry Regiment.
In addition, DPW will spend $1.3 million on repairs to Building 89 for the Defense Military Pay Office; $1.3 million to restore the Army Community Service's Patch School; $1.145 million on interior renovations to Building 72 for the 199th Infantry Brigade; and $1.014 million to upgrade the post's peak shaving plant.