By Bill ArmstrongApril 6, 2009
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Members of the Junction City and Geary County Military Affairs Council got an update on Fort Riley construction projects during a March 26 breakfast at the Courtyard by Marriott in Junction City.
Deputy Garrison Commander for Transformation Col. John Dvoracek told those attending although the economy is in a downturn, the state of Kansas has not been affected quite as much as other states.
With a projected post population growing to nearly 19,000 Soldiers in 2013, Fort Riley planners have been busy with several new and modernization construction projects amounting to $2.4 billion in order to keep up with demand. Of all the projects on post, Dvoracek emphasized housing as a big one.
"Bottom line, 400 new additional sets of quarters when Picerne (Military Housing) is all done with their 10-year build out on the installation," he said.
A total of 3,514 housing units either currently are being built or are being renovated. Dvoracek credited Picerne Military Housing for the quality of work he's seen.
"As a Soldier who has been in a while and as an engineer who's had to deal with some of those housing issues, it's nice to finally see that we're getting our Families and Soldiers some appropriate quarters. It's nice to see the level of quality and amenities that we're getting out there," he said.
Other slices of the construction budget pie include nearly $784 million for mission facilities, brigade and battalion headquarters, operations facilities and tactical equipment maintenance facilities. The federal government's stimulus package also affects construction, Dvoracek told the 80 people attending.
Fort Riley receives about $43.1 million from the package in the form of sustainment, restoration and modernization funding. The SRM money includes $22 million for Soldiers' barracks, $7.9 million for energy projects and $1.7 million for community support programs.
"A key factor about this SRM money is that it typically is only good for one year - 12 months," he said. "The money that we received in the stimulus project, though, this $43 million, is actually called 18-month money. We have until September of 2010 to spend it."
The longer spending window is good for Fort Riley, as it allows leaders to spread projects out more, he said. The longer period also is good for the community because it keeps local work crews on the job longer.
Dvoracek was followed by Garrison Command Sgt. Major Ian Mann, whose presentation included architect's renderings of current and future construction projects to the audience.
After showing a slide of various new construction projects, Mann showed a larger view of the post with 1st Infantry Division Headquarters in Building 580 serving as a reference point. One nearby construction site was for U.S. Air Force personnel.
"Close to the center there is where the 10th (Air Support Operations Squadron) is going to be," Mann said pointing to a map. "You can see some construction going on out there with land clearing and they're building that facility. We expect it to be complete in December of 2009."
The mission of 10th ASOS is to provide combat-ready tactical air control party assets for combat maneuver units of the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division.