Contractor JMJ Construction of New Lisbon, Wis., is moving four World War II-era barracks buildings from the 1600 block of Fort McCoy's cantonment area to other areas of the installation in February and March.
“Two of the barracks will be set in the 1700 block, one in the 1800 block, and one in the 2800 block,” said Engineering Technician/Construction Inspector Timothy Peterson with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Construction Inspection Branch. “They will be set in open lots among the rest of the barracks in the blocks. Eventually they will be brought back on-line and returned to use for units that come here for training.”
The 1600 block of Fort McCoy’s cantonment area has been undergoing a transformation the last several years with new construction dominating its landscape. Work in the block began in summer 2019 where destruction of other buildings took place near these four barracks buildings.
Soon after, in 2020, construction on a new $20.6 million transient training troops barracks was underway. The barracks is four stories and is able to house 400 people in approximately 60,000 square feet. That barracks was completed in 2022.
And in 2021, also in the 1600 block, construction on a second $18.8 million barracks projection began near the first new barracks. That project is nearly complete as well, according to the Army Corps of Engineers Resident Office overseeing the project..
On June 9, 2022, a contract totaling $11,964,432.87 was awarded to L.S. Black Constructors to build the fiscal year 2022 Transient Training Brigade Headquarters project at Fort McCoy. Construction operations began in August 2022. Location of construction is just across the street from where the same contractor built the two new transient training troop barracks buildings in the same block.
So now the need to move the old barracks buildings is needed as more new construction is planned in the 1600 block for the future, DPW officials said.
DPW Master Planner Brian Harrie said overall eight new buildings are planned for the entire 1600 block. The plan is to build four barracks buildings, the three 20,000-square-foot brigade headquarters buildings, and one 160-room officer quarters.
“The 1600 block will be completely transformed when all of this construction is completed years from now,” Harrie said. “The 1600 block is a great location for this transformation, too, because it places these facilities for transient training troops near the post’s service-related facilities, such as the Fort McCoy Commissary, Fort McCoy Exchange, and McCoy’s Community Center.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently designing two brick-and-mortar projects for fiscal year 2023, too, Harrie said. One is the third (of four) four-story barracks in the 1600 block and the other is the officers’ quarters. These are also based on the outcomes of the 1600 Block Transient Training Campus Plan. Award of both projects is also planned sometime possibly for fiscal year 2023.
As far as the movement of the World War II-era barracks buildings, the contract amount to do the move is approximately $1.7 million, officials said.
The contract scope of work shows that in addition to moving the buildings to their new locations, the work includes building new concrete foundations, installing new furnaces, hot water heaters, and completing site work such as installing utilities and completing grading and sidewalks, said DPW Construction Inspection Branch Chief Dan Hanson.
The contract scope of work also includes repairs to anything damaged during transport.
“The plan is to relocate the buildings to the new locations before the ground thaws, then lift them onto the new foundations and complete the remaining work by this summer,” Hanson said.
All four of the buildings were originally built 81 years ago in 1942 during the construction of Fort McCoy's cantonment area. An article in the Aug. 28, 1942, edition of The Real McCoy newspaper discussed the actual construction of the cantonment area and these buildings.
“Actual building and grading operations for the erection of the hundreds of buildings began March 20, 1942, although the original survey by a corps of engineers was made in July 1941. Authorization for construction was given by the War Department on Feb. 9, 1942.”
The article also states, “Each of the new buildings is of the most modern military design for comfort and welfare of the Soldiers. All are equipped with the latest of scientific appliances. The first Soldiers to move into the new area were the Camp McCoy Military Police. Hundreds of mechanics of every type and description were employed to grade and construct the hundreds of buildings, warehouses, recreation centers, chapels, and other necessary buildings. A few months ago, this new camp site was a countryside consisting of beautiful hills and valleys studded with scrub oak, jack pine, and wild grass. Today it is one of the finest military camps in the world.”
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”
Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.