PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Officials from the Presidio of Monterey, the Department of Defense, the Defense Language Institute and the City of Monterey joined the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District March 10 to break ground for a new general instruction building here, scheduled to be completed in fall 2011.

The two-story, 47,000 square-foot building will cost approximately $14 million and will provide 36 classrooms in a state-of-the-art center at DLI, the Department of Defense's premier language training facility. Students from all branches of the armed forces attend the school to acquire fluency in languages DOD deems important and mission essential. The building will have support areas such as a conference room, test facilities, multi-purpose training areas and cultural rooms, which are used to help facilitate cultural immersion for students. Artifacts from the country whose language the students are studying decorate the classroom, and students are required to dress in clothing that is typically worn in their language subject country.

"We are delighted to provide this type of support to the Presidio of Monterey," senior Corps of Engineers project manager Greg Bridgestock said. "This building will provide more classrooms and facility offices; so that students can become more proficient in the languages they're studying. The building will also enable DLI to have smaller classrooms, which will provide an enriched learning environment and a closer relationship between students and faculty.

"We have an ongoing relationship here," Bridgestock said. "Since the early 1960s, we have built more than $100 million worth of buildings here. After the War on Terror started, DLI needed to expand their capabilities, with more classrooms and facilities to teach languages that Department of Defense identified as being important. We have moved aggressively to support that need."

"This is one of 17 projects Corps of Engineers-wide that is LEED certified," said Hans Nettel, architect and project lead for the Sacramento District in-house design team.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This program is designed to ensure that organizations build environmentally efficient buildings.

Organizations registering with the LEED program have to demonstrate that they are constructing a building that is environmentally efficient and is being built in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Additional members of the in-house design team were: civil engineer Randall Smith; landscape architect Pamlyn Hill; structural engineer Jeff Perlegos; interior designer Debbie Owen; electrical engineers Frank Lum and John Parish and mechanical engineer Alan Morita.

Col. Sue Ann Sandusky, DLI commandant, said the new buildings will be a key asset in training future linguists.

"This new GIB, along with the Alfie Khahil building that is nearing completion and the projected GIB, demonstrate Congress' and the Department of Defense's tremendous commitment to excellence in language training," Sandusky said.

Construction on the building is expected to start later this month.