FORT BRAGG, N.C. - A multi-million dollar remodel of the living quarters for Soldiers of the 4th Military Information Support Group is currently underway along Gruber Street here at Fort Bragg.
The buildings, constructed about 13 years ago, have had no major renovations or revisions and will now have three upgrades to the living conditions for the 4th Group Soldiers.

The first revision will be remodeling of the buildings. There will be a replacement of all furniture in the two-person rooms, to include desks, chairs, beds and mattresses, dressers, refrigerators and microwave ovens. The rooms will all be remodeled, repainted and brought up to like-new appearance according to Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Bopp, billeting noncommissioned officer. The hallways and common areas will also be resurfaced, cleaned and repainted.

Bopp explained that the remodel is part of a $248 million Army wide barracks renovation project started several years ago.

"(The renovations have taken many years but) I'm glad to see that we are making these changes to take care of our Soldiers," said Command Sgt. Major Fernan Castelo of the 4th Group. Castelo has been working hard to make the rooms, landscaping and air conditioning system upgrade for our Soldiers said Bopp.

The second revision will be the heating and air conditioning. The systems often fail and create critical service requests to maintain heat and air for the Soldiers. According to Roger Sarks and Don Wilson, technicians installing the new system, maintenance has been done on the system but this renovation is a major reworking of the air conditioning and heating systems. It included the replacement of the large cooling tower serving several buildings, electronic controllers and a rewiring of all thermostatic devices in the 354 rooms. This includes rooms in Buildings H-3229, 3526, and 3829.

Wilson and Sarks explained that the control system for the building will be converted from analog to digital and will provide individual temperature controls that balance the building as a whole. Once complete, the system will also be monitored and controlled by the Fort Bragg Department of Public Works, therefore creating a more efficient operation and the ability to adjust the controls before the system has problems. Tests will be run to evaluate the increased efficiency of the system once completed.

The third part of the remodel project will be the most visible. It includes a major landscaping project to control erosion at several locations around the living quarters. Drivers along Gruber Street will see the new trees, shrubs and grass planted, but the Soldiers will also have new walkways and stairs leading around the building and a new courtyard with a brick walking path winding through the new plantings.

The scope of the project proposes to "create a campus-like atmosphere," giving the Soldiers a place to relax between missions and deployments, said Bopp.

The shiny new cooling tower replaced an even larger unit but will be much more efficient and provide better heating and cooling for the 354 rooms in the housing complex.