MILCON: Fort Stewart, Hunter Army Airfield Expanding

By USACE and Jennifer SmallApril 3, 2008

Ranger Barracks
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New Chapel
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Soldiers at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., have witnessed a vast expansion of their living and working conditions over the past five years that continues with new barracks, command facilities, a fitness center and the Army's largest chapel coming on line.

By the end of September 2011, more new barracks, company, brigade and battalion buildings will have opened.

With the creation of four brigades at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga., and the upgrading of facilities at Hunter Army Airfield in nearby Savannah, both installations see improvements for Soldier support. The program includes education projects, new equipment maintenance facilities, a 21st-century command headquarters, bringing on-line millions of square feet of new living and work space in support of about 23,000 Soldiers (growing to 27,000 by fiscal year 2011).

New barracks will provide Soldiers with private rooms, shared baths, and shared kitchenettes. Dining facilities, company, brigade and battalion facilities, along with physical training areas are incorporated into the overall design for each complex. Soldiers can easily work, train, eat, and relax within easy walking distance. Rapid expansion called for innovative solutions to housing, including the creation of modular barracks and command structures.

Fort Stewart, home to the 3rd Infantry Division (Rock of the Marne), covers more than 280,000 acres in Southeastern Georgia.

In addition to barracks and company and brigade facilities, Fort Stewart has opened the largest chapel in the Army, geared to the well-being of all troops and their families.

.The 36,050-square-foot Main Post Chapel, built by the Savannah District of the Corps of Engineers, opened to the Fort Stewart community on Nov. 7 after two years of construction.

"The intended services are for the Soldier, whatever denomination they may be," said Steve Hill, project manager of the construction.

Located at the corner of Hero Road and Gulick Ave, the chapel complex is adjacent to the Post Exchange/Commissary complex, on what was formerly the Army Education Center.

"This was an existing site that used to house the Army Education Center, which was a World War II construction," Hill said. "They had rebuilt that a year prior."

The chapel complex boasts a 600-seat Sanctuary, and an adjacent activity center that is capable of seating an additional 579 people in a separate or combined service. The facility also holds 17 religious education classrooms, two multipurpose rooms, a Blessed Sacrament room, a sacristy/robbing room, choir room, resource center, nursery, restrooms, kitchen, storage, and administrative space for two chaplains, an education director and an assistant.

Other new support facilities on Fort Stewart include a state-of-the-art fitness center at Hunter Army Airfield and a separate troop medical clinic dedicated to Warriors in Transition.

At Hunter Army Airfield, also part of the 3rd ID, the Corps of Engineers built a state-of-the-art fitness center. The facility hosts indoor water sports, cardio training, weight rooms and courts for a variety of sports. The large indoor pool provides family fun, off-duty relaxation and intense on-duty water safety training.