The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, continues to make excellent progress during its $113 million renovation of Bradley Barracks at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, an hour north of New York City. The barracks, housing 900+ Cadets, is expected to be complete in spring 2022.
“Supporting building infrastructure at West Point is a major part of our military construction mission,” said COL Matthew Luzzatto, commander, New York District. “These renovations will provide Cadets a more modern, comfortable space for daily life, allowing more time for course work, drills and other obligations.”
Built in 1968, Bradley barracks is split into two sections: ‘Bradley Long’ and ‘Bradley Short’ due to its ‘L’ shape. The barracks is named after Omar Bradley, a senior officer in the U.S. Army during and after World War II, holding the rank of General of the Army. Bradley was the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ─ a body of top uniformed leaders in the U.S. Department of Defense advising the President, secretary of defense, Homeland Security Council, and National Security Council on military matters. Bradley also oversaw U.S. Military policy making during the Korean War (1950-53).
Bradley Barracks is undergoing a complete interior and exterior overhaul. Building repairs will address interior configuration, life/safety, energy conservation, and utility systems that no longer accommodate modern living conditions. The 305,221 sq. ft. six-story structure houses some 921 Cadets in 435 rooms.
Architectural repairs will address space deficiencies for laundry, study and Cadet rooms; and restrooms will be renovated to address gender equality for male and female Cadets. Interior repairs include new walls, ceilings, floors and stairwells. Exterior work will address water infiltration systems, roof systems, insulation and waterproofing, windows, rooftop equipment and masonry and limestone. The building’s exterior and envelope will get new windows, spray-applied insulation, new roof insulation, a finished roofing system and rooftop equipment.
Additional renovations include paving, landscape and utility infrastructure, information technology and communications, collaboration rooms, and revamped office space. Two existing passenger elevators installed nearly 50 years ago (1972) will be replaced as well.
Mechanical, electrical and plumbing repairs will be made to fire-suppression and water-supply systems, fire alarm and mass notification system, fire detection, protection and monitoring controls, heating and ventilation systems, plumbing systems and telecommunication and cabling systems. In terms of technology, upgrades will be completed for closed-circuit television (CCTV), alarm and card access systems, public address systems, time clock systems, cable television and abatement of hazardous materials.
Renovations to Bradley Barracks are at the LEED silver level. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a green-building initiative of the U.S. Green Building Council, an agency whose mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible environment that improves quality of life.) LEED-certified buildings use less energy and water, avoid waste, save on maintenance costs and improve indoor air quality, offering comfort to occupants and lessening environmental burdens on communities.
In March, 15 Cadets from a project management class gathered for an afternoon of hands-on construction learning about a building some may occupy next year. Standing just outside the construction area, Timothy Cain, Army Corps project engineer, gave a comprehensive presentation about the administrative side of construction, discussing details of contractual agreements and how contractors plan, conduct and execute projects. Cain told Cadets how the Army Corps achieves a quality construction project utilizing a three-phase inspection system that includes reviews before, during and after construction to ensure quality workmanship and that work has been completed to specification.
Cain also spoke about contract modifications, emphasizing the importance of reviewing details of contractor’ proposals, and scheduling requirements and using Primavera P6 Professional ─ project management software to gauge construction progress. It was explained that Army Corps project managers and engineers work closely with contractors, especially when it comes to modifications where significant costs are involved.
In terms of Cadet learning, Cain said: “My goal was to give Cadets a perspective about what’s involved in a project of this size and scope. Everyone knows we’re making major renovations ─ it’s the architectural, structural, mechanical details that prospective engineers need to know. In addition, the administrative efforts required on a project this size are substantial.”
After the presentation, Cadets donned safety gear – hard hats, bright orange vests, safety goggles and steel-toed boots ─ embarking on a building tour. The class visited three cadet rooms in different phases of construction. There Cain explained details of wall, ceiling, and floor-finish requirements, and functioning of the mechanical, fire suppression and fire alarm systems. Cadets learned that fire-system sprinklers are activated by heat: When a sprinkler registers 155 degrees, an emergency alarm is sent to the West Point Fire Department and building alarms and emergency lighting are activated.
Cain pointed out that sprinkler heads operate independently, not all at once. Why? Because oftentimes the water does more damage to the building than the fire itself, so the aim is to limit water only to the amount necessary to suppress the fire.
With regard to finishes, Cain emphasized durability is the primary criteria for use in barracks. Examples include painted plaster on walls and impact-resistant sheetrock protecting walls from damage. He also spoke about a terrazzo-tile flooring system that provides both durability and flexibility, and applying lessons learned from past projects performing mechanical testing and balancing of the ventilation system.
Barracks Upgrade Program
Renovations at Bradley Barracks are part of a much larger initiative: The West Point Cadet Barracks Upgrade Program (CBUP) that is renovating nine existing Cadet barracks and facilities, including Eisenhower Barracks that was originally built in 1968. New York District is delivering modernized living facilities that increase space and reduce operating costs.
The upgrade program, began in 2013, is a 10-year effort to completely renovate and modernize all existing Cadet barracks. Renovations have already been completed for Scott, MacArthur, Pershing, Eisenhower and Grant Barracks; Sherman and Lee Barracks are next in line for renovations. In 2017, the new Davis Barracks was constructed.