MILCON: Rebuilding U.S. Army Hawaii
March 18, 2008
The Honolulu District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing a number of projects at Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, Tripler Army Medical Center, and other locations throughout the state of Hawaii.
<b>Barracks Renewal Program</b>
The Whole Barracks Renewal Program is an Army-wide initiative to build new barracks and renovate existing quarters using new, modern design standards. The program's goal to improve the living standard of unaccompanied enlisted personnel.
At Schofield Barracks, five of the historic quadrangle barracks - including one that dates back to 1914 -- are being restored to historic accuracy on the outside, while their interiors are being gutted and rebuilt to meet modern standards.
Last May, the Army opened the newly-renovated C Quad at Schofield Barracks with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. Following three years and more than $58 million in renovations, the quad opened in advance of the returning 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"The history of this quad will live on as it stood here on 7 December, 1941 ... strafed by the Japanese when attacking at Wheeler Army Air Field ... and as it was used in 1953 as the filming site for the movie version of 'From Here to Eternity,'" said Col. Howard J. Killian, commander of U.S. Garrison, Hawaii, at the ceremony. "C Quad, like its contemporaries, is one of the earliest concrete-paneled buildings constructed in Hawaii."
The new Quad C is now home to a full-sized gym/basketball court, a company-level conference room and the latest amenities for Soldiers who will live the barracks life.
The Army's over 10-year, $1 billion Whole Barracks Renewal Program in Hawaii, requires transformation of facilities to comply with 21st century building codes, and antiterrorism and force protection standards.
The mandate greatly challenges installation commanders because it requires them to convert barracks designed for high-volume occupancy into "suites." For example, the two C Quad barracks were once home to 1,500 Soldiers. Now, 36 single occupant and 132 one-plus-one rooms, called suites, will house junior enlisted Soldiers and noncommissioned officers - for a total of 300 Soldiers.
The suites feature keyless entry, separate bedrooms and a common bathroom and kitchen. Additional amenities, in all living spaces, include a full-sized refrigerator, range and microwave oven; bathrooms with sinks, toilets and tub showers - instead of latrines; and a dayroom, that is, a common entertainment or recreational area, per barracks floor.
During renovation contractors restored the quad buildings, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to their original architectural design at the turn of the century - complete with period colors and double-cased windows, as well as numerous modernday comforts.
Other projects going up under the program include community buildings, battalion headquarters, company operations buildings, dining facilities, training facilities, central plants, roads, parking, landscaping and utilities. A total of 4,096 spaces are being constructed under the program.
<b>Other Military Construction</b>
Other key projects on the island of Oahu include the U.S. Army Pacific Command and Control Center, chapel, and vehicle maintenance shop at Fort Shafter. A Child Development Center and vehicle maintenance shops are among other projects at Schofield Barracks, along with and a Regional SATCOM support facility at Wheeler Army Airfield. Military Construction Army, or MCA, projects being executed by the Honlolulu District total about $250 million
The Honolulu District also supports the Tripler Army Medical Center Facilities Maintenance Branch and MEDCOM programs with about $7 million worth of construction each year.
The Army plans to transform components of the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and U.S. Army Pacific Command at Fort Shafter under the modularity program.
Modularity is a force-development design that restructures the way the Army fights, refocusing the Army from a division-oriented force to a "brigade based" Army that is more responsive to regional combatant commanders' needs, better employs joint capabilities, facilitates force packaging and rapid deployment, and fights self-contained units or modules.
Recent projects of high interest under this program include 11 Modular Company Operations Facilities at Schofield Barracks; the renovation of Buildings 520/525, and relocatable facilities at Fort Shafter. Funded projects under this program total $44 million. Projects under this program total $44 million.
The Honolulu District of the Corps of Engineers also supports the U.S. Army Garrison, Hawaii, with a full spectrum of environmental support including National Environmental Policy Act compliance Documentation, the Installation Restoration Program, Historic preservation and consultation, and associated programs, working in partnership with the Directorate of Public Works environmental staff.
<i>(Editor's note: This is the fourth article in a series about how the Army's record military construction program is improving the standard of life on installations. For more information about MILCON, see the March issue of Soldiers magazine.).</i>