It has been a long journey since the groundbreaking ceremony May 10, 2010, for the new barracks on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall. The end is finally in sight and construction is due to be completed in early March.
One of the final steps before completion of the $19 million project was a walk through Jan. 12.

Darick Edmond, project executive for the construction company in charge of building the new barracks, led this walk through with Col. Carl R. Coffman, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall commander and Lt. Col. Jeffrey Dixon, deputy joint base commander of JBM-HH accompanying him.

''It will be a basic 108-room, 216-bed building," Edmond said during a tour of the structure.

He explained how the rooms will be set up in suites. There are two doors leading to the bedrooms. The first door opens up into a small hallway that connects the bathroom and kitchen on either side.

Occupants of the barracks will not share a bedroom, but they will share a bathroom and kitchen with their suitemate.

''We are in the process of completing the exterior portion of the building," Edmond said. ''We are also in the process of doing the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and starting the interior framing." When finished, the barracks will be in compliance with the joint base energy policy.

''We have a 30 percent solar heating system for water," Edmond explained. ''We are also using three-inch insulation on the exterior of the wall in the brick cavity."

The extra insulation and solar hot water will reduce the use of fossil fuels and production of greenhouse gases at JBM-HH, said Bill Lucas, Directorate of Public Works building coordinator. These extra precautions will meet the needs of both the Army energy policy as well as the joint base energy policy, he said. ''The joint base energy policy will incorporate the latest requirements from [the Installation Management Command] and the Army. These requirements mandate all new MILCOM projects [new barracks] - including major renovations to reduce energy use by 30 percent - use renewable [energy]," said Lucas.

''The new barracks will have recycled materials: efficient windows, heat recovery wheels and solar domestic hot water for showers and sinks produced by solar domestic roof collectors," Lucas added. The goal of the Army energy policy is for all installations to reduce energy consumption by three percent per year, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce production of greenhouse gases, Lucas said.