FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fort Jackson is on its way to completely renovating and constructing new living quarters for Soldiers in Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.

The work, which began in 2007 with the renovations of the rolling pin BCT barracks on Magruder Avenue, is slated to be finished in 2017. "The new barracks and the renovations in BCT will provide an improved quality of life for Soldiers and cadre," said Col. James Love, garrison commander. "Living space is optimized (and) better latrine facilities and larger classrooms all lead to a better atmosphere to conduct training."

New barracks construction began with the completion of BCT I several years ago, which is home to 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment. BCT complexes, also referred to as starbases, place drill sergeant offices on the same floor as each of their platoons, along with latrine and laundry rooms.

Each platoon has a 60-Soldier classroom and the new complexes provide enhanced safety and force protection measures, such as an integrated "separate and secure" alarm system, modern fire suppression and motion-sensitive lighting.

The first phase of BCT II, which is the new home of 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment and located along Golden Arrow Road, was completed in January. The second phase, slated to begin this summer, will add two more company barracks and is expected to be finished in fall 2012.

Construction of BCT III is also under way and will be home to 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment. The complex will be located next to BCT II, and the units will share a dining facility. The first phase of BCT III will be completed spring 2012. The entire complex will be done in 2015.

The cost for a BCT complex - which consists of company barracks, headquarters, classrooms, storage and a dining facility - is about $120 million.

"Army standards are used from the ground up in the new construction," said Michael Hipp, Master Planning Division chief. "The layout is more efficient."

Construction on a fourth BCT complex will begin in 2015 along Hampton Parkway where the 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry temporary barracks are now located.

Starship barracks, which were built in the 1970s, are also being renovated by turning dining facilities into classrooms and expanding headquarters to allow for more Soldiers to be trained in a higher-quality environment.

Renovations on Starship 11000 are wrapping up and will house 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, which is slated to completely occupy the facility in October. The battalion headquarters has already moved.

Next door, work on Starship 12000, which will be home to 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, will be finished in summer 2012.

Work is also being done to the starship barracks along Jackson Boulevard and Pickens Avenue. Renovations have begun on Starship 4420 and when completed, work will begin on Starship 5422.
"All of the starships are being renovated and when one battalion moves out and into one that has been renovated, work will begin again," Hipp said. "It is like a domino effect."

Upgrades and renovations are also planned for the AIT units on Fort Jackson. This summer, work will begin moving the 369th Adjutant General Battalion to the old 1-61 rolling pin barracks on Magruder Avenue. The old 369th barracks will be demolished and rebuilt.

Once the 369th barracks are completed in 2015, work will begin on new barracks for the 187th Ordnance Battalion. The 187th will then move into the old 1-61 barracks while their current barracks are demolished and rebuilt.

Work on all BCT and AIT barracks is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

"When it is all said and done, we will have all of our trainees out of relocatables and in barracks up to Army standard," Hipp said. "We are pretty excited about that."

In addition to making the barracks more efficient for training, the renovations and construction are being done using sustainable building practices and will be certified LEED silver. The U.S. Green Building Council developed the LEED green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built to minimize environmental impact.

"Not only will we improve the quality of life for cadre and new Soldiers alike, but all of the new construction and renovations are LEED silver and will help us meet our energy conservation goals," Love said.