FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 28, 2015) -- Construction has begun on the 84th Chemical Battalion's Advanced Individual Training Complex that will enhance the teaching of future Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Soldiers.

The construction zone stretches between Cooley and Oklahoma avenues.

Approximately 2,200 Soldiers are trained yearly on Fort Leonard Wood in CBRN operations.

The $86 million complex will house 600 Soldiers in training, along with two company headquarters, an outdoor track and six classrooms.

In addition, the facility, scheduled for completion in late 2016, will include a dining facility and chilling tower that is used as a more efficient way to produce air conditioning for large or multiple facilities, according to the Directorate of Public Works.

"This new five-story facility will centralize the housing for all of the battalion's AIT students. It will provide better command and control of the students during down time, since the company operations facility will be on the ground floors and the barracks will be above them," said Lt. Col. Michael Cobb, 84th Chemical Battalion commander.

"The additional classrooms inside the facility will allow the companies to train in-house, especially during inclement weather days when transportation is delayed or cancelled," Cobb said.

Currently, CBRN AIT Soldiers do not have their own physical-training footprint. Such training is stretched alongside multiple softball fields at Training Area 122. The current situation necessitates daily travel across the installation.

"Having the six multi-purpose classrooms readily available will eliminate more than an hour of transportation daily," said 1st Lt. Adam Warner, 84th Chemical Battalion executive officer. "This time savings will allow the students to receive longer and more in-depth instruction from the cadre."

Classroom instruction will be augmented with six multi-purpose classrooms, and Soldiers will have two computer/media rooms per floor.

"This will allow Soldiers to participate in study halls and receive additional training from their peers that will enhance test scores and improve squad/class cohesion," Warner added.

At the moment, the AIT training companies do not have media rooms available within their company footprint, according to Warner.

The addition of the outdoor track will improve physical readiness training for all future CBRN Soldiers, along with two basketball courts and pull-up bars.

The training of future CBRN Soldiers will be greatly enhanced by the new complex, according to Warner, and eliminate multiple training issues and enhance the training Soldiers receive here.