By Ms. Dawn M Arden (Leonard Wood)July 24, 2014
A state-of-the-art dental facility and new hotel are atop the list of Army military and private construction projects on Fort Leonard Wood, totaling more than $207 million.
The more than 18,600-square-foot, $18.1-million dental facility will be equipped with 30 dental chairs and able to support 210 dental visits per day. It is scheduled for completion in February 2015.
When completed, the facility will support more than 20,000 Soldiers annually from Advanced Individual Training and One-Station-Unit Training.
"It's going to be perfect for the Soldiers, because of the location next to the starships (barracks) and the TBUP (Training Barracks Upgrade Program) barracks. Whereas now they've got to go by bus or truck; they'll be within walking distance," said Col. David Kryszak, Dental Activity commander, during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The new hotel, Candlewood Suites, won't have dental services, but will include a top floor designed for distinguished visitors with enlarged suites and a private lounge, a swimming pool, business center, fitness center and great room.
It is scheduled for completion in January 2016 with 235 one-and two-bedroom suites. Complimentary breakfast and weekly socials for guests are planned.
At the hotel's groundbreaking ceremony, InterContinental Hotel Group Army Hotels operations vice president Arthur Holst said his company is proud to serve those who are proud to serve.
"I love this project, because it's about caring. IHG and Lend Lease are taking care of Soldiers and their Families every day," Holst said.
According to Directorate of Public Works officials, the timeline to get an MCA project from concept to ground breaking can typically take six years.
"The installation submits MCA projects each year for consideration. The submitted projects are prioritized at each level of command," said Bryan Parker, Planning and Real Property Division chief. "These projects compete at Headquarters Army, and the highest priority projects are placed in the last year of the Army's Future Year Defense Plan."
"For this year, that's 2021, the earliest year a new project would be planned for Fort Leonard Wood," he added.
Other projects under construction are a basic training barracks; the National Guard Regional Training Institute; a limited-use instruction facility; two tactical equipment maintenance facilities; a water treatment plant ultraviolet disinfection facility; and a company operations facility.
Parker said groundbreakings are upcoming for a new simulator building to replace the portable Engagement Skills Training buildings and an Advanced Individual Training complex.