Ribbon cutting ushers in new barracks enhancing Soldiers quality of life
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Polk leadership and representatives of the Directorate of Public Works, Sauer Inc. and more gather to cut the ribbon in front of the new 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division barracks Nov. 17. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Ribbon cutting ushers in new barracks enhancing Soldiers quality of life
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general, was the guest speaker at the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division barracks ribbon cutting held Nov. 17. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — A ribbon cutting took place Nov. 17 in front of the newly completed 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division barracks, building 2277, at Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk.

The barracks renovation project is a Fort Polk quality of life initiative aimed at improving facilities across the installation.

The contract was awarded to Sauer Inc. in 2018 as a design build project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Brig. Gen. David W. Gardner, JRTC and Fort Polk commanding general, was the key note speaker for the ceremony.

Gardner’s top priorities are taking care of people and building readiness.

“Those two things can’t be done without the other. We can’t build readiness without taking care of people. We are continuing to work on the quality of life at JRTC and Fort Polk for our people and Families so they can excel at their jobs, build successful careers and lives in the Army, thereby increasing our ability to fight and win on tomorrow’s battlefield,” Gardner said.

Over the last 10 years JRTC and Fort Polk began a $500 million dollar project to restore 34 barracks. There are 26 completed. This is the 27th, and the final seven are scheduled to be completed over the next few months.

“It’s a good day when we open a barracks. Cutting this ribbon gives our Soldiers a great place to live,” Gardner said. “These types of projects matter and make a difference in our Soldiers lives and are among the top priorities on this installation. This is where the rubber meets the road when we say Fort Polk is a quality of life installation. What we are doing here and within the Army to modernize our facilities and improve the quality of life for our Soldiers proves that.”

The barracks was a $17 million dollar renovation project. It consisted of raising the ceilings, improving the lighting and converting existing two-bedroom areas to larger one-bedroom suites.

Other improvements included removing and replacing the roof, new exterior walls, windows, fire protection systems, interior walls, doors, insulation, interior finishes, floors, ceilings, plumbing and more.

“The new furniture is going in, and soon we will have Soldiers moving into these barracks,” Gardner said.

Brandon Furlow, Fort Polk Directorate of Public Works engineer and project manager, said the barracks project was a complete renovation down to the concrete masonry unit walls.

“The magnitude of the project and sheer work that went into gutting the barracks was tough, but it was worth it. We built it back while improving the finished product,” Furlow said.

The construction on the barracks project took roughly two years.

“I believe it was awarded in 2018, but COVID-19 pushed it back,” Furlow said.

Furlow said he is proud to work at Fort Polk.

“These kinds of projects are why I work at Fort Polk. I want to help Soldiers and their Families improve their quality of life. Helping provide them with top-of-the-line, high-quality living quarters is what it’s all about,” Furlow said.

In closing, Gardner thanked all who helped make the barracks a reality.