Enlisted barracks upgrades get funding, go-ahead

By Julia Simpkins, Joint Base Myer-Henderson HallFebruary 4, 2021

Bldg. 416
The outside of Bldg. 416.
(Photo Credit: Photo by Aaron Kendricks)

Some Marines at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will soon have what they have long asked for — new barracks for their enlisted ranks.

The building they are currently housed in, Bldg. 416, is slated to start receiving major upgrades in a yearslong project — 780 days — that breaks ground in June, said Bernadette Osterhaus, project manager for the renovation.

“It’s a design-build project,” she said, “Notice to proceed was issued in early November.”

Osterhaus said the base contract is worth $26.9 million. She said the initial portion of the design is under development, but groundbreaking should happen by early summer this year, pending relocation of the Marines.

“Barring any delays, construction is slated to be completed by December 2022,” she said.

“There are two main project delivery methods for building renovations or construction,” said Maj. Kurt Gerfen, the special projects officer and engineering division deputy, Directorate of Public Works. “The design-bid-build and the design-build. The design-build is awarded to one contractor who is responsible for both design and construction of the build; with the design-bid-build, one contractor is responsible for the project design and other contractors bid for construction rights.”

A design-build project is one of the Army’s swifter methods of getting construction underway, and is used when the project is deemed critical or urgent, Gerfen said.

Built in 1977, Bldg. 416 has outdated heating systems, window-mounted air conditioners and nonenergy-efficient windows, among many other things that need improving, Osterhaus said. “Bldg. 416 barracks (project) is bigger than it seems,” said Osterhaus. “It’s actually a three-story building with four different wings (416-A, 416-B, 416-C and 416-D). There are failing building systems and components that have accumulated during the past 42 years, and a complete and comprehensive major repair project is required to improve the facility to meet current quality standards and to extend its functional life for at least 26 years.

We’re bring it up to code to improve quality of life of Marines.”

According to Osterhaus, building systems and components to be replaced include:

· roofing,

· heating,

· ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC),

· electrical distribution,

· sanitary sewer system,

· fire alarm system and fire suppression system,

· building information systems,

· lighting and illumination fixtures

· plumbing fixtures,

· exterior doors,

· windows,

· ceilings,

· flooring and floor finishes, and

· living and common areas

“It’s an infrastructure upgrade and a cosmetic upgrade,” Osterhaus said.

According to JBM-HH Director of Housing Derrick Lee, that will all change as part of the renovation project.

“This building will go into renovation to bring it up to a standard that people expect where they live,” he said. “When it’s done there will be new furniture and appliances, and mechanical mold remediation.”

There are three major areas the improvements will focus on: Landscaping/grading, the HVAC systems and fixtures and appliances, Gerfen said.

“It (the construction) is not just the building, it’s the landscaping as well,” Gerfen said. “The building is old and the landscape has changed, causing flooding and water drainage to infiltrate the building. Part of the project is to address that so the (nearly) $30 million we’re putting into this will be worth it in 25 years.

“The current HVAC systems are functional at best. The end state goal is to have an energy efficient, reliable system in there.”

The fixtures update are part of the modernization that Lee mentioned. Gerfen said it’s not just for cosmetic improvement, but also to bring the building up to military construction code.

“We’re not changing the layout because that’s one thing that doesn’t need improvement,” Gerfen said. “But when the project is done the rooms will look more modern. The overall upgrade is designed to provide a higher quality of life.”

“The Marines are looking forward to the long awaited renovation of the BEQ 416. This is a project that is long overdue. We believe that the quality of life for our Marines has a direct correlation to their level of performance. The Joint Base is committed to providing quality of life improvements with this project,” said Marine Sgt. Maj. Joseph Griffin, battalion sergeant major at Henderson Hall.