FORT CARSON, Colo. -- After more than three years of planning and construction, officials will cut a ribbon Thursday at 10 a.m., officially opening the Fort Carson Resiliency Campus.

The campus features four buildings: the Forrest Resiliency Center, the Ironhorse Sports and Fitness Center, the Mountain Post Behavioral Health Clinic and Ivy Child Development Center.

"The resiliency campus is a tremendous benefit to everybody," said Col. Robert F. McLaughlin, garrison commander. "I think having a campus like this will benefit not only those who need it, but help existing programs."

Located near the intersection of Specker Avenue and Prussman Boulevard, the new campus allows Soldiers, Family members, retirees and civilians access to programs that promote mind, body and spiritual wellness, McLaughlin said.

The campus boasts several amenities that help Fort Carson reach its 2020 net zero goals.

"All of the buildings will meet (U.S. Green Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards," said Joe Wyka, Engineering Division chief, Directorate of Public Works.

Wyka said the campus was specifically designed to encourage pedestrian traffic from each building.

"It's a walkable campus. This is the first place that you really feel like you're on a campus," he said.

Although all of the buildings feature recyclable and energy-saving features such as zeroscape landscaping and recycled asphalt, each has its own unique features that meet the needs of its occupants.

The new Forrest Resiliency Center was formerly the Forrest Fitness Center. The building retains some of the features from the old fitness center. For example, the new conference room retains the glass walls from the refurbished racquetball courts.

"We make a decision whether to tear down or repurpose a building," Wyka said. "Our goal is to repurpose. … That's our strategy, to repurpose them and reduce energy, water and waste."

Wyka said repurposing a building to meet the changing needs of the community saves money.

In addition to its rooftop solar panels, the Mountain Post Behavioral Health Clinic has solar tubes throughout the building to provide natural lighting, which officials said helps maintain a calm atmosphere.
The Ironhorse Sports and Fitness Center may be granted LEED Gold certification with its advanced lighting control system and other energy efficient features. The solar panels on top of the building provide 6 percent of the building's electrical needs and the facility is designed to use 47-percent less energy compared to a traditional facility, according to Army Corps of Engineer officials.

Although the campus officially opens Thursday, many of the buildings are already offering services. The Ivy CDC offers hourly child care for registered children ages 6 weeks-12 years. The behavioral health clinic is already open and seeing patients. The sports and fitness center opens Thursday and offers numerous fitness classes. The Forrest Resiliency Center will open for tours Thursday, but will be fully operating later in the summer.

Page last updated Thu April 26th, 2012 at 17:00