DHR unveils modernized facility

By Devin Fisher, Fort Carson Public Affairs OfficeMay 22, 2023

DHR unveils modernized facility
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Mike Webb, director of Human Resources, discusses customer service improvements made during the building 1218 renovations project with Col. Sean M. Brown, Fort Carson garrison commander, during a reception following the grand reopening ceremony May 16, 2023. (Photo Credit: Devin Fisher) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The Directorate of Human Resources (DHR) celebrated the grand reopening of building 1218 May 16, 2023, following an $8.5 million renovation that transformed the 50,000 square-foot former 1960s barracks into a state-of-the-art customer service facility.

Located on the corner of Ellis Street and Wetzel Avenue, building 1218 now houses the DEERS/ID Card Office and Casualty Assistance Center on the first floor, DHR headquarters, Suicide Prevention and Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) on the second floor and the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and Career Skills Program on the third floor.

Fort Carson Director of Human Resources Mike Webb noted it’s a win-win for customers and employees.

“It has everything we need to be fully functional, fully supportive of supporting Soldiers, Families and retirees,” he said.

“Now all our facilities are top of line, high-speed, have a great customer service environment, state-of-the art classrooms and offices, and complete an ideal downtown campus environment,” he said. “From the garrison headquarters down to the post office, we are within a half a mile – you can’t ask for anything better to support a Soldier.”

For DHR employees, they will now be working in a safe, controlled environment conducive to providing excellent customer service, he said.

The project, which began in February 2021 and was completed in November 2022, included constructing ramps, wider door entrances and lower countertops to comply to the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and aesthetic enhancements such as updated paint schemes and new carpet, furnishings, fire sprinklers, mass notification system, energy-efficient HVAC system and LED lighting.

The Army saved a considerable amount of money renovating the structurally-sound brick facility, according to Jim Schloss, Directorate of Public Works (DPW) architect and project manager for the project.

“The renovation of the 50,000-square-foot facility bumps up the lifecycle of the building at least 25 years,” he said. “Tearing down the facility and rebuilding a new one with the same footprint would cost a minimum of $35 million.”

Webb noted the opening of building 1218 was the culmination project that reduced DHR from eight locations down to just four.

The latest renovation follows the 2016 project to convert the old commissary, building 152, into the Mountain Post Soldier Center, which consolidated the majority of in-and out-processing stops under one roof; and the Education Center overhaul of building 1117, a 1950s barracks, that was completed in 2021. The final DHR location is the Official Mail and Distribution Center, collocated in building 1519 with the U.S. Postal Service.

Webb expects building 1218 will rival the Mountain Post Soldier Center with the number of Soldiers served at about a thousand a day.

“We figure we will probably see 400-500 people through DEERS in a day,” he said, noting there are now 10 spacious offices dedicated to processing record updates and ID cards and a new electronic kiosk system that will expedite service.

With multiple state-of-the-art classrooms, DHR will have the flexibility to hold TAP, Unit Prevention Leader, ASAP, Army Records Information Management System (ARIMS) and Casualty Assistance/Notification Officer training simultaneously.

“The classrooms we have are state-of-the-art with all the bells and whistles; we have Wi-Fi throughout, so Soldiers don’t have to login to anything, just push the button,” Webb said.