WEST POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 29, 2010) -- Those leaving West Point through Washington Gate may notice that construction in the area the old fuel point once occupied has morphed the land into a vast new canvas. Machinery is continually tilling the land over, and contractors are staying busy erecting the skeletons of huge new buildings.

Some are guessing what kind of facility this new compound will become, and others know exactly what it is-the new home of the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School.

By July 15, 2011, USMAPS Reception Day, the first phase of building will be complete, and the barracks, dining hall, indoor athletic field and outdoor soccer field and track will be ready to receive new cadet candidates, said Lt. Col. Bob Brown, chief of plans for the West Point G-3 office.

The deadline falls ahead of a Congressional mandate requiring the campus at Fort Monmouth, N.J., to be vacated by Sept. 15, 2011. That is the time at which Base Realignment and Closure 2005 will be complete for USMAPS.

The second and final phase of construction, at which time the academic and athletic facilities as well as the lacrosse and football fields will not be ready for use, will continue through June 2012, Brown said. However, plans are in place to serve the cadet candidates with available resources until that time.

"It's true that we will not be 100 percent complete on construction before Sept. 15, 2011," Brown said. "But the mission of USMAPS moving here and being operational at West Point will happen prior to the Congressional mandate."

The offices of the Dean and Directorate of Intercollegiate Athletics are working with USMAPS to deconflict the schedules of the cadets and cadet candidates while upholding NCAA guidelines.

Other directorates within West Point are making similar considerations in order to follow the rules about fraternization of candidates and cadets.

The Dean has identified classroom space within Lincoln and Cullum halls for teaching the cadet candidates English and Math, respectively, Brown said. Jefferson Hall will house teaching space and faculty offices for the Center of Enhanced Performance, and the temporary USMAPS headquarters will be in Taylor Hall.

The $103 million project broke ground in July 2009, and has been under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and J. Kokolakis Construction, based in Bohemia, N.Y., said Catherine Scott, BRAC team leader within USACE. About 200 workers have been diligently building the 26-acre campus from the ground up.

There was an existing seven-acre landfill that occupied the area where the soccer field and track will be built. The 40-year-old refuse site, considered mostly municipal solid waste, was contained using deep-dynamic compaction and will be sealed with a geomembrane cap to mitigate any serious settlement.

Work on the 256,639 gross square foot facility has progressed on schedule without incident or delay. USACE has taken the site's history as an artillery impact area into consideration by employing strict safety precautions during construction.

"The Corps of Engineers has a district in Baltimore that been providing at least two (technicians) on-site every day who monitor earth-moving activities," Scott said. "They watch the soil to see if anything has been disturbed or an anomaly has come out of the ground."

A Stokes mortar round was found last March, and two months ago a Civil War-era piece of ordnance was discovered. Both pieces were safely transported to the range and detonated without incident.

Every year USMAPS prepares about 250 cadet candidates for entry into West Point. These candidates include former enlisted Soldiers and other individuals of interest, such as high school students who have made significant achievements in academics or athletics.