By Rob Schuette, Fort McCoy Public AffairsJuly 11, 2011
FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- Two new sand volleyball courts located outdoors near the Fort McCoy Community Activity Center, building 2000, already are getting heavy use less than a month after being completed as a troop project.
Sheila Peterson, CAC manager, said CAC staff noticed that when Soldiers held unit parties at the facility there was a great demand for the facilities and often there was a rush to get to the facilities first.
“We have had the need for a long time to increase our volleyball area,” Peterson said. “It’s one of our most-popular outdoors activities,” especially during the summer months.
Peterson said she and Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig, Fort McCoy mobilization command sergeant major, discussed the idea, and decided it would be a great troop project.
Larry Morrow, installation Troop Project coordinator, helped get the project on the list for Operations Essayons, a June engineer exercise held at Fort McCoy.
Morrow worked with the CAC, the Directorate of Public Works and the 955th Engineer Company of Pennsylvania to design and construct the project to meet the needs of the CAC and the Soldiers.
“We were a little concerned, when the excavated areas got to be around three to four feet deep, but they knew what they were doing,” Peterson said. “They worked on the project for approximately two weeks in sweltering 90 degree heat, pouring rain and then chilly 50-degree weather " working diligently no matter what the conditions were.”
The day after the construction was completed, the CAC held a tournament. Units and troops competing in the tournament remarked that the courts were the nicest facilities they had ever seen, she said.
“They definitely were impressed by the materials and construction put into place,” Peterson said. “The project was one of the best decisions we ever made.”
Not only did the CAC get two quality sand-volleyball courts, but the troop project work saved the CAC the nearly $15,000 it would have cost to obtain materials, use the equipment to build the site and labor, which was provided by the Soldiers as part of their training.
Morrow said the project was discussed at an Essayons planning session, and engineer personnel agreed to do the work.
“It was a good horizontal training project and gave the troops training on their front-end loaders, skidsteers, dumptrucks and backhoes " a well-rounded experience,” he said. “The leaders also said the project was something the troops would be proud of after they finished, and it added value to their training that way. We really appreciated the work they put into the project, and it helps support the recreational needs of future Soldiers training here and other authorized patrons.”
The CAC is continuing to put the new courts to good use as they were used for a “blind” volleyball tournament June 29. Peterson said a number of tournaments, as well as open play on the courts, likely will be held throughout the remainder of the outdoor volleyball season.
For more information about other CAC activities, visit the website http://www.mccoymwr.com/rec-a-fitness/recreation-center.html, call the CAC at 608-388-3213 or call the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Event Line at 877-864-4969 or 608-388-7400.