(SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, HI – NR 2012-08) With the turning of soil by seven Hawaiian `O'o sticks on Monday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and contractor Nordic PCL Construction, Inc. officials broke ground on a new $59.085 million Warriors in Transition barracks and complex during a traditional Hawaiian site blessing ceremony.
The new 120 personnel Soldier barracks and the complex, which includes a Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC), will be built on an existing parking area adjacent to the post Medical clinic.
“This is an enormously important project for us and our Soldiers,” said U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) Executive Officer Col. Jay Hammer. “It’s important for those Soldiers that have gone into combat and returned hurt with sustained life-long injuries.”
During the ceremony Honolulu District Commander Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen told guests that construction of this project showcases the Corps’ commitment to building quality facilities for the Garrison and Wounded Warriors returning from deployments.
“Half of this new barracks will be the same as those recently built here at Schofield – but the other half will be different – being uniquely designed with the wounded warrior in mind,” Guttormsen said. “These new facilities are being constructed in order to support the wounded warriors’ needs and for Soldiers currently occupying the Warrior Transition Battalion trailers and Bldg 692.”
Warrior Transition Battalion Deputy Commander Stephanie Garvin told guests at the ceremonies that the battalion is eagerly looking forward to consolidating its operations into one location.
“Currently our battalion is spread out in numerous locations around the post, and these new facilities will allow us to work from one location and provide the best services possible,” Garvin said. “It will make it easier not only for the wounded Soldiers, but their families as well.”
The design-build construction contract for the barracks and SFAC complex was awarded to Nordic PCL Construction in March 2011. Completion is scheduled for October 2013.
This design-build construction contract is for building two structures, the five-story, 120 person barracks; a four-story building combining the SFAC, two company operations facilities (COF), and one battalion headquarters (BOF); plus a central plant, parking and other supporting facilities.
The project is being done in two phases as existing parking is first being removed and additional parking is being created along McCornack Road across from the Dental Clinic. Once the parking area phase is complete then construction of the two structures will commence. There will be a net gain of 170 parking stalls (255 total spaces after completion).
The barracks will be constructed in a unique design to accommodate wounded warriors and will have many ADA-compliant features.
The barracks will have 30 units on one side in a 1-plus-1 configuration, consisting of two bedrooms with walk-in closets, a shared bath and a kitchenette/ dining area. Laundry facilities for the 1-plus-1 units will be located in the hallway on each floor. The 30 units on the opposite side will be in a Strickland suite design of 2 bedrooms – each with its own bathroom with roll-in showers, walk-in closets, a shared living room, a shared kitchenette/dining area and full laundry facilities inside the unit. Additionally all of the first floor Strickland suites will be ADA compliant for access.
The adjacent four-story building will house the Warrior in Transition Soldier Family Assistance Center (SFAC) on the first floor, with the two company operations facilities (COF) on the second and third floors and one battalion headquarters (BOF) fourth floor. The SFAC will include child care facilities that will have direct access to the children’s outdoor playground being constructed directly adjacent to the new building.
Sustainability and protecting the environment are also key components in the construction of this barracks as several significant innovations and energy saving elements will be included in the barracks including solar water heating and high-efficiency appliances and plumbing systems. The building is also being made photovoltaic-ready. Nordic will be pursuing LEED Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council.
Participating in the traditional maile lei untying ceremony were Col. Hammer; Lt. Col. Guttormsen; Glen Kaneshige, president, Nordic PCL and Maj. Garvin.
The Rev. Dr. Kaleo Patterson of the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center led the Hawaiian blessing and maile lei untying / ground breaking ceremonies. Also attending the ceremonies was
Col. Jennifer Walker, Deputy Commander for Clinical Services, U.S. Army Health Clinic - Schofield Barracks.
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.
The U.S. Army established Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) at major military treatment facilities located around the world. WTUs provide personal support to wounded Soldiers who require at least six months of rehabilitative care and complex medical management.
A WTU closely resembles a “line” Army unit, with a professional cadre and integrated Army processes that builds on the Army’s strength of unit cohesion and teamwork so that wounded Soldiers can focus on healing to transition back to the Army or to civilian status. Each wounded, ill, and injured Soldier works with a Triad of Care - primary care manager (normally a physician), nurse case manager, and squad leader - who coordinate their care with other clinical and non-clinical professionals.
The Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) is unlike any other brigade in the Army with these units focused only on healing wounded Soldiers. The WTB is a unique composition of multiple components, consisting of active duty, Reserve and National Guard members and Department of the Army civilians. Schofield Barracks has roughly 180 Soldiers assigned to the WTB.