By Mr. Patrick J Bloodgood (USACE)June 24, 2014
FORT LEE, Va. -- Four years after Fort Lee became the central hub for Army logistics training due to the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 decision, the installation and its major tenants continue to evolve.
For the 59th Ordnance Brigade the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built facilities that transformed the way Soldiers, train and live while going through schooling at the post.
"We're a technical school with state-of-the art facilities," said Col. Thomas Rivard, 59th Ordnance Brigade commander. "With our combination of classrooms and bay space, we have the ability to adapt the Army Learning Model 2015, as well incorporate the components of skills-based training, into each of our 20 plus military occupational specialty classes taught at Fort Lee."
The work didn't stop for the installation and the Corps after the final BRAC ribbon-cutting. Today, the Norfolk District continues to build projects that address the quality of life for the men and woman working and living at the installation.
"Fort Lee is proud of everything the Norfolk District has done to improve the quality of life for our Soldiers, civilians and families," said Col. Paul K. Brooks, Fort Lee garrison commander. "That is why we were honored to submit the district as the Installation Support Program of the Year for 2012 to the Army's Installation Management Command."
Building on those successes, the district is performing a $14 million renovation of Building 3004, a 69,000-square-foot barracks building that needs repairs to its mechanical, electrical, fire alarm, security, and plumbing systems, as well as new roofing and structural work.
"Fort Lee has, over the past few years, been very proactive in upgrading their facilities, either by replacement or major renovation," said Jon Jones, Norfolk District project manager.
Renovating the facility is a cost-effective method of providing Soldiers with comfortable, modern and safe living conditions at a significant cost savings to taxpayers.
"The rehabilitation, versus tearing down, of building 3004 allows the district to deliver an energy efficient building that meets today's Soldier quality-of-life standards through restoring and modernizing the existing facility, which in today's fiscal environment would not have been possible if we had to construct a $30-$40 million building from scratch," said Col. Paul Olsen, Norfolk District commander.
The second project is the construction of Advanced Individual Trainee Phase II Barracks, which is the second of a three-phase project.
The Phase II project provides living space for an additional 900 Soldiers with a five-story addition to an existing 300 person five-story complex, and a separate five-story barracks building capable of housing 600 Soldiers.
The project mirrors what was completed during the BRAC process on the central campus section of the installation where the Corps built five-story complexes with the battalion headquarters attached.
The $81 million project gives the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade additional student facilities that meet today's codes and standards.
The district also assisted in removing 11 unused and outdated buildings to make way for future facilities.
"They [Fort Lee] have numerous facilities that have been removed through the Facilities Reduction Program, administered by the Huntsville District, as well as demolition work included in our contracts," Jones said.
There are two additional Fort Lee projects that will begin later in the fiscal year.
Two Army battalion and one brigade headquarters are in development as part of the AIT Phase II complex to manage the increased amount of Soldiers cycling through for training. The district anticipates that the cost of this portion of the project to be $12.5 million.
Phase II assists in Fort Lee's goal, which is to house a total of 2,400 Soldiers and will be achieved during phase three of the project.
In addition to the Army projects, the district is preparing to embark on constructing a new Marine Corps battalion headquarters building later this summer. The $4.3 million facility will provide a modern facility for Marines stationed at Fort Lee.
While the work at Fort Lee has slowed since the Base Realignment and Closure 2005, the mission of upgrading and constructing new facilities for the betterment of today's and future Soldiers remains a key component for the installation, a mission to which the Norfolk District is committed.
"The district's mission at Fort Lee is to provide the highest quality engineering and construction services in support of their construction program," Jones said.