U.S. ARMY GARRISON HUMPHREYS, South Korea -Officials from U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District and Korean Contractor Hanwa Engineering and Construction Corporation gathered here Wednesday to break ground on the first four 1+1 barracks on the Korean peninsula.

Hanwa Engineering and Construction Corporation, the prime contractor for the barracks project, will build the new structures on Parcel One, the 100-acre tract of land that surrounds the MP Hill area of post. They are the first new construction on the new land.

The barracks are called 1+1 because two Soldiers live in a module with two separate bedrooms but they share a bathroom and a kitchen. The new barracks will be eight stories high and house 302 Soldiers.

The eight-story buildings reflect the FED's and the garrison's philosophy of building up instead of out. Given the limited land available and the number of Soldiers to be housed a high-rise barracks is the best solution.

Common areas include a mud room that Soldiers can use to clean and store their field gear, a laundry room and a charge of quarters room.

Outside of the barracks will be sidewalks, exterior lighting, gates, parking areas and bicycle racks.

According to the FED the four new barracks will be completed by June 2010 and cost about $54.5 million to build.

In his remarks USAG Humphreys commander Col. John E. Dumoulin Jr. said that the new barracks represented a break from the past when Soldiers stationed in South Korea lived in old Quonset Huts.

"It wasn't too long ago that we housed our Soldiers in 50-year-old Quonset Huts that were like ovens in the summertime and ice boxes in the winter. They were drafty, they leaked when it rained and they were about as aesthetically pleasing as living in a warehouse," Dumoulin said.

Dumoulin added that the new barracks will provide Soldiers with safe, secure and comfortable quarters plus Internet, television and telephone connections.

"The field conditions of Korea are gone, they are history," Dumoulin asserted. "No more Quonsets, no more substandard barracks, no more just making do because this has been a one-year assignment. Our Soldiers are the best in the world ... they deserve to be treated that way."

Col. Clarence D. Turner, commander of the Far East District, followed Dumoulin and praised the team members in the project - USAG Humphreys, the FED and Hanwa Construction and Engineering.

Turner noted that with such a strong team in place he was confident the project would be a success.

Mr. Yi Kun-po, Vice President of Hanwa Engineering and Construction Corporation echoed Turner's remarks and said his company would perform to the utmost of it's capabilities to ensure success.

"We have placed the most talented individuals here and have the most-efficient support system in place," Yi said.

Yi said that it is a great honor for Hanwa to be selected to build the new barracks.

"I promise our utmost effort and the highest quality. I'm confident everyone here will support us," Yi concluded.