Fort McCoy, WI (WXOW)—Thursday, Fort McCoy opened the first new barracks at the army base in 70 years. The new facility will house soldiers who come to the army base for training.
"Apparently, I had not heard it before, I heard it from someone who used to train here, they called this 'Splinter Village'," said Col. Steven Nott, Garrison Commander, Fort McCoy.
Built in 1942, the existing barracks were never meant to be permanent fixtures at Fort McCoy. And though they've been renovated in recent years, the frame is still made of World War II wood.
"The army now does not like to build with wood, it has long-term sustainment issues," Nott said.
The new training and mobilization barracks cost $6.8 million.
"What it does in the long term, for cost saving for having to heat and maintain for multiple small buildings that are older construction and putting them in one small contained building that can do it all," Nott said.
One way the army is cutting down on costs in the new building is through energy efficiency.
"Better insulation, better windows, and so we've got great energy efficient here, and it was also be a lead silver project and be certified as lead silver," said Liane Haun, chief of master planning for director of public works. "That means that the leadership of energy and environmental, they look at the quality of these projects to make everything energy efficient."
The two story building contains 168 beds, separated by lockers for more privacy. The building is also the first of the training barracks to have air conditioning.
"The quality of life for soldiers here is going to be superb," Nott said.
"It's got laundry facilities, common areas for them to discuss things, relax, play cards," Haun said.
The building, funded by the Army Reserve, is hopefully the first of new a series of new barracks at the army base.
Fort McCoy will begin using the new barracks for soldiers in training next month.
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