By Dino W. Buchanan
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and contractor Absher Construction officials broke ground on a new $35.3 million barracks during a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony here, Feb. 23, 2012.
The new Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing on Montague Street will eventually house Soldiers of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (25th ID).
During the ceremony Lt. Col. Douglas B. Guttormsen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District Commander told guests that construction of the barracks continues the Corps’ strong partnership and commitment to building quality facilities for the Garrison and Soldiers returning from deployments – on time
and under budget.
“Today with this groundbreaking and site blessing for this barracks the Corps of Engineers continue our efforts to build the highest quality facilities for our Soldiers – on time and under budget,” Guttormsen said. “Soldiers returning from deployment can look forward to living in a high quality, energy-efficient home.”
“These barracks are sorely needed for our Soldiers,” said U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Commander Col. Douglas Mulbury. “Many of our current barracks are older and less energyefficient.
These highly-energy efficient barracks provide Soldiers with modern accommodations, while also helping to reduce the post’s energy consumption and costs. And I also can proudly tell taxpayers outside the gate that we are reducing costs and protecting the Aina.”
The design-build construction contract for the 228 personnel barracks was awarded to Absher Construction Company in June 2011 for $35.3 million. Design is being done by Tetra Tech with a contract completion date scheduled for August 2013. This is Absher’s second project with the Corps here in Hawaii - the first was the recently completed New Barracks Complex on Lyman Road on Schofield Barracks.
The five-story building will house Soldiers living in two-man suites which will come with a kitchenette and shared bath. With Absher incorporating high performance and efficiency features throughout the facility, they are pursuing LEED Gold certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and it represents a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods.
Project amenities include laundry facilities on each floor, boot wash stations at each ground floor entry, an exterior basketball court and a picnic/barbeque area.
Participating in the traditional maile lei untying ceremony were Col. Mulbury; Lt. Col. Guttormsen; and Greg Helle, president, Absher Construction. The Rev. Dr. Kaleo Patterson of the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center led the Hawaiian blessing and maile lei untying /ground breaking ceremonies.
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.