By Brian Dwyer, USACEJuly 1, 2010
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Grass, sidewalks and landscaping have replaced dirt and construction equipment at several Base Realignment and Closure Act 2005 facilities and other military construction sites, as the number of completed projects on Fort Sam Houston continues to increase.
After reaching the peak of construction activity in 2009, it is anticipated that close to 20 facilities will have been turned over for tenant use by the end of 2010.
Medical Instructional Facility 1 was officially unveiled June 30, and is part of the new Medical Education and Training Campus being built on post. The ceremony also commemorated METC's initial operational capability, since initial training courses began last month.
Subsequent courses will be phased in throughout the summer, the fall and into calendar year 2011 when the campus will become fully operational.
METC is consolidating the enlisted medical training programs of all branches of the military, providing instruction for a variety of medical specialists, such as combat medics, radiology technicians, and biomedical equipment technologists.
The completion of METC facilities is being sequenced to correspond with student arrival intervals. The headquarters/administration building, Dorm 1, the 80,000-square-foot dining facility, and MIF 1 are ready for use. Dorm 1 is one of three 1,200 person dorms. Dorm 2 is slated to be available for occupancy by the end of the summer and Dorm 3 is scheduled to be ready for students by the end of the current calendar year.
METC's first courses will take place in MIF 1, which houses classrooms and laboratories, one of five such buildings on the campus. The other four MIFs are also moving closer to completion: courses are expected to begin in MIF 2 in August; construction of MIF 3 is slated to conclude in August; MIF 4 is scheduled for completion in early 2011; and MIF 5 is on track to be finished by the end of September.
Not only is METC construction hitting its marks, but the facilities are being built in accordance with stringent environmental standards.
Earlier this month, Army Corps of Engineers representatives assigned to the METC project, received notice that the U.S. Green Building Council had certified the METC dining facility as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at increasing energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emission reduction, indoor environmental quality, and improving stewardship of resources.
The METC dining facility is the first project in the METC program to apply for and be LEED certified. Certification is also being sought for other facilities that are part of the METC campus.
Elsewhere on post, other facilities are expected to open their doors this summer. They include: the Primary Health Clinic, which will assume outpatient care responsibilities from Brooke Army Medical Center, and the Joint Center of Excellence for Battlefield Health and Trauma Research, adjacent to BAMC that will consolidate research programs from all service branches.
In addition to new construction on FSH, several projects to renovate historic structures are nearing completion or have already been completed.
While these efforts were not funded by BRAC dollars, several of them are associated with BRAC requirements. Building 2265 is one of a group of structures being renovated to accommodate the relocation of Headquarters Installation Management Command from Virginia. Work on the building is expected to be finished in September.
To the west, the rehabilitation of Building 2000 has created office space for IMCOM's West Region headquarters, which moved into the building from another location on post. The West Region headquarters was created by a 2005 BRAC mandate to combine IMCOM's Northwest and Southwest Region headquarters into a single headquarters. Next door to Building 2000, the renovation projects for Buildings 2001 and 2007 have wrapped up as well.
BRAC construction on Camp Bullis has also concluded. The Armed Forces Reserve Center is finished and a medical field training site for METC students is in the final stages of being readied for use.
The overall military construction workload at San Antonio installations between fiscal years 2006 and 2011 includes 156 contracts worth more than $3 billion for BRAC and other types of military construction projects. Of these contracts, 76 involve projects on Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis.
The Joint Program Management Office is overseeing project design and construction for the San Antonio BRAC and military construction program. The JPMO is a joint military service entity that represents a partnership between the Army Corps of Engineers, the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, and is supported by private sector contractors.