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Year in Review – USMA, West Point, NY

The great partnership continues

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District
Published Jan. 12, 2022

Dr. Christine Altendorf (yellow vest), Director of Military Programs for the US Army Corps of Engineers, listens to a description of renovations by an Army Corps employee at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, as New York District Commander Col. Matthew Luzzatto (extreme right) and officials look on.


West Point Cemetery, located on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York is America’s oldest military post cemetery and a national historic landmark.


Army Corps Project Manager Roy Messaros speaks with Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Cadets received several hours of hands-on construction/engineering learning at the Green Brook Flood Risk Management Project in central New Jersey.


Army Corps Project Engineer Timothy Cain explains aspects of the Bradley Barracks renovations to Cadets prior to touring the construction site.


New York District Army Corps of Engineers' personnel in discussion at the site of a new Golf Course Clubhouse under construction at West Point, New York. Expected to be complete in summer 2022, the new Clubhouse will be larger and have more amenities.


An aerial view of Warner House, a 220-year-old structure on Constitution Island on the Hudson River north of New York City. In the 1800's, Cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (directly across the river) traveled to the island by rowboat for Bible classes on Sunday afternoons.


Front exterior of the new West Point Elementary School.

In the beginning of 2021, Dr. Christine Altendorf, the Director of Military Programs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was touring the projects the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District was working on at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

She said, “I’m having the most fabulous tour seeing all of the great work the District is doing as it relates to engineering, design, construction and industrial hygiene.  Name the topic, the District is doing it and it’s coming to fruition at places like West Point.”

2021 has ended and Altendorf’s comments are still true and many of the projects she looked at are now completed or are making great progress.

Now as a new year begins, more projects will end and begin, continuing the strong partnership the District has with the academy that is educating the future leaders of this Nation.

The 200-year-old military academy and National Historic Landmark is located 50 miles north of New York City on the Hudson River. For much of the time the academy has been in existence, the District has constructed many of its buildings and continues to.

In 2021, the District experienced new construction achievements including the completion of the West Point Elementary School and the Warner House and made progress on the Golf Clubhouse, West Point Cemetery, and Bradley Barracks.


West Point Elementary School

The District completed the construction of a new, state-of-the-art elementary school. The school is providing teachers the tools they need to teach students about STEAM or science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics to prepare them for the 21st Century.  These students are children of Army Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians who live at the academy.

The school provides teachers a myriad of technological tools to provide students a STEAM education and the building is designed to be flexible and adaptable to provide different kinds of learners the environments they need to succeed.

USMA, Graduate, COL. Matthew Posner, MD who attended the school as a child and has a daughter in the new school said, “The world has transformed into a technology-based economy.  Our children must be comfortable on computers.  They must be well-versed in science and engineering.  In a way, the recent COVID-19 Pandemic has turned many folks into pseudo scientists, epidemiologists, geneticists, and pharmacists. STEAM is important in our everyday lives and it’s incredibly important to have the background in the basics of these disciplines."


Warner House

The District completed the renovation of Warner House – an iconic home on a small island in the Hudson River that has strong ties to the academy.  The home and island have a rich history that includes being inhabited by Native Americans, being a key location during the Revolutionary War, being the home of two well-known 19th Century American writers, and being a place where Cadets came for bible classes and drills. Now the newly renovated home, which is a museum, will reopen for the public.

The 220-year-old home that is a National Historic Landmark was restored while preserving its historic heritage. This was done by removing old items and replacing them with historically accurate ones to preserve it as close as possible to its habited existence in the 18th and 19th Centuries.  

New York District Commander COL. Matthew Luzzatto said, “Warner House is an integral part of the Academy at West Point with historical significance. Our work there preserves that history and enhances the island’s academic and recreational use for Cadets, their families and the public.”


Golf Course Clubhouse

The District is making great progress on the building of a new Golf Course Clubhouse at the military academy’s 18-hole challenge course, considered one of the top in the state of New York. The course also takes part in the Professional Golfer’s of America’s Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (Hope) program that introduces veterans – especially those with disabilities – to the game.

The new clubhouse will be a larger, more modern building with more amenities including a patio that will seat 75, a banquet room that will seat 150, a snack bar, and parking spaces for 100 vehicles. The new building will also be accessible for individuals with disabilities.

Luzzatto said, “Providing first-rate facilities for West Point Cadets, staff and the public is a priority for the Army Corps. Beyond the clubhouse, the West Point Golf Course is an important community asset serving the larger community and U.S. Veterans.  The modern building will enhance patrons’ experience.”


West Point Cemetery

The District is making great progress on the expansion and improvement of America’s oldest military post cemetery. This National Historic Landmark includes the graves sites of some of America’s most storied military leaders and historic figures.  The work is being performed for the thousands of visitors who come to the cemetery yearly and for the service members and their families who have dedicated their lives in the service of this Nation.

Work includes expanding the grounds to make space for an additional 3,492 graves that will include in-ground burial sites and internments for cremated remains.

Ulysses Grant Dietz, Historian and the great great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States and the great-grandson of Major General, Frederick Dent Grant, who has a grave in the cemetery said, “The West Point Cemetery is a remarkable historic graveyard, which makes it both a historic green space and a touchstone to a great deal of American history. As such, it deserves the same sort of care and attention that a historic building would get. I’m really delighted that the Army Corps has turned its attention to it.”

John Butler, project engineer, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers added, “It’s an honor to be able to work on a project that is creating a tranquil place for families to grieve, remember, and reminisce about their loved ones and to provide a final resting place for so many leaders that have served our great nation through some of its best and some of its worst times.”


Bradley Barracks

The District is making great progress on the renovation of the barracks, one of many structures the District is renovating under the West Point Cadet Barracks Upgrade Program that is renovating nine existing Cadet barracks and facilities to modernize living facilities and increase space while decreasing operational costs.

The barracks is named after Omar Bradley, the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – a body of top uniformed leaders in the U.S. Department of Defense that advises the President and others on military matters. Work on the barracks includes major renovations to the architectural, structural, and mechanical aspects of the building that will provide housing and amenities for 921 Cadets.

Luzzatto said, “These renovations will provide Cadets a more modern, comfortable space for daily life, allowing more time for course work, drills and other obligations.”


Building Future Engineers

In 2021, the District accomplished a great deal of work and it also educated the Cadet’s about it. The academy is one of the top engineering educational institutions in the Nation. While the District was constructing buildings for the Cadets, they also educated these future engineers on how they are doing it, by giving them projects tours on and off the campus.

Cadets were taken on a tour of the construction of Bradley Barracks. Timothy Cain, project engineer, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who gave the tour 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.”

The Cadets also left the campus to visit one of the District’s major civil works projects – The Green Brook Flood Risk Management Project located in New Jersey. Army Corps Capt. Kevin T. Park, deputy resident engineer at the New York District’s Southern Resident Office in New Jersey said, “Cadets benefit greatly from this type of hands-on learning.  It takes them from the classroom into active construction zones where challenges present themselves daily – broadening their perspective about complex engineering challenges and how to solve them.”

In 2022, the District’s work at the academy will continue.  Some of the projects that will be completed include Bradley Barracks, West Point Cemetery, central chiller plants construction for both Davis Barracks and Bartlett Hall that will provide air conditioning for the Cadets and the Energy Investment Program that will convert steam heat in various chapels to natural gas hot water heat.

Some of the projects that will be starting up include renovations for West Point’s Medical Command and further renovations on Camp Buckner.

Like in last century, past year and years to come, the District will continue to perform construction for the academy and maintain its great partnership with an institution that is preparing men and women to become the future leaders of this Nation.