Four hundred 2nd Brigade Combat Team Soldiers will begin moving into a new home soon. The New Barracks Complex on Schofield Barracks's Lyman Road officially opened in late December during a maile lei untying / ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the Corps of Engineers, the Garrison's Directorate of Public Works, 25th ID's 2nd Brigade Combat Team and Corps' contractor Absher Construction.

During the ceremony Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen told guests that the barracks will be a welcome sight for Soldiers returning from deployments.

"This is really all about our Soldiers," Guttormsen said. "Many of the Soldiers who occupy these barracks will have done multiple combat deployments. We have the opportunity through these facilities and those like them to provide these heroes the highest quality of life possible between these deployments."

The complex has two five-story buildings each of which can accommodate about 200 Soldiers living in two-man suites which come with a kitchenette and shared bath.

The buildings were built to attain LEED Silver certification however Absher incorporated high performance and efficiency features that will achieve LEED Gold certification. Other amenities include one central laundry unit per floor, activity rooms and mail access area, two exterior half-basketball courts, a physical training area plus covered picnic/barbeque shelters.

Green sustainability features include high-efficiency low flow lavatory faucets, shower heads, and water closets, motion sensor-operated light fixtures and tinted Anti-Terrorism-Force Protection windows that reduce heat transfer into the barracks.

Participating in the ceremony were Jae Chu, Absher project engineer; Greg Helle, president, Absher Construction; Lt. Col. Guttormsen; Pacific Ocean Division Commander Brig. Gen. Richard L. Stevens; Director Robert Eastwood, Directorate of Public Works, USAG-HI; Maj. Michael J. Votca, Facility Engineer, 25th ID. The Rev. Dr. Kaleo Patterson of the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center led the Hawaiian blessing and maile lei untying / ribbon cutting.

Garrison DPW Director Robert Eastwood hailed the new barracks as the best he's ever seen and more importantly, very maintenance friendly for his DPW crews.

"Between each of the two-man suites is a utility room where all mechanical/electrical maintenance can be performed without entering the Soldier's rooms," Eastwood said. "This saves time for both the Soldiers and my DPW workers."

The District's Project Delivery Team of Construction Manager Owen Ogata; Project Engineers Guy Kuroiwa and Nicholas Morikawa; Quality Assurance Representatives Ronald Lum and Paul Ancog, and Project Managers Elton Saito and Nelson Lee, along with Absher, established an exceptional safety record with no recordable accidents in over 372,000 man-hours during the two-year project.

"This project has been an achievement in teamwork from initial planning all the way to today -- d it was made possible because of the tight partnership of the Garrison, the Honolulu District and Absher. We are very proud of our role in this great partnership to complete this building and create a place that Soldiers will be proud to call home," Guttormsen said.

The FY08 New Barracks Complex contract was awarded to Absher Construction Company, Puyallup, WA in 2009 for $73,268,083. The Architect for the project was Charles Fritzemeier of Tetra Tech Inc.

The Corps recently completed another barracks facility at Schofield Barracks on Porter Loop in early December which will also be occupied by 2nd Brigade Soldiers.

The Honolulu District is committed to building and managing the construction of high quality projects that improve the quality of life for service members and their families and that provide jobs and money which stimulate the local economy.