By Ms. Jennifer Scales (IMCOM)August 26, 2010
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Under the hot morning sun, individuals gathered on just one plot of the 475 acres that will house the new area for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, to enclose their special bricks in a time capsule on the building, Aug, 18.
The three-story, 140-thousand square-foot structure will house the brigade and battalion headquarters, along with several classrooms.
The bricklaying time capsule ceremony was a unique event in which one of the Savannah Corps of Engineer personnel was present. In all of his 23 years in construction, this was a first.
Brigadier General Jeffrey Phillips, 3rd ID deputy commanding general-rear, expressed his gratitude to both the public and the engineering craftsmen for this dedication to the Soldiers of the 4th IBCT.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to all of you with the hard hats," he said. "From the American people, this is a fabulous gift they have put in our Army. Soldiers will have a good place to come and work. This is a tremendous asset to the Vanguard Brigade and the 3rd Infantry Division."
Each ceremonial bricklayer, or their representative, had their name embossed on a brick. As names were called, they had to step up to the exterior building structure with their brick, cement it, and then lay it in place, wiping away remaining cement. A master mason was on hand to provide assistance to the men and women participating, wiping away excess cement and laying it in perfectly.
"The brigade headquarters is on schedule for the March 2011 completion," said Chad Paasch, a project manager with Mortensen Construction. "Working eight-hour days since January, even with the extreme heat or rain, we look forward to that completion time. After that, furniture placements will begin, which is another aspect to building completion."
Once complete, the 475 acres used for the 4th IBCT will be like a city within itself, which will include about 20 barracks, a dining facility, and a gymnasium.
Though Paasch does not have a military background, he still expressed sentiment toward his part in the construction of the area. "It makes me proud to be able to build something for the Soldiers, which I know will be put to good use."
Included in the group of ceremonial bricklayers included Brig. Gen. (P) Jeffrey Phillips, deputy commanding general rear/senior commander; Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Ashmen, 3rd ID command sergeant major-rear; Col. Kevin Milton, Stewart-Hunter garrison commander; Command Sgt. Maj. James Ervin, Stewart-Hunter command sergeant major; Michelle Lartigue, the wife of 4th IBCT Commander, Col. Louis Lartigue; and Troy Funk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.