Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Milhorn, Army Corps of Engineers’ Deputy Commanding General for Military and International Operations in Washington D.C., traveled to New York for a full day of site inspections at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY, where the New York District has a variety of construction projects in progress.
New York District Commander Col. Matthew Luzzatto stated: “West Point is a key component of our robust military-construction mission. We’re making major renovations to existing structures and adding new facilities to ensure the Academy remains a pre-eminent institution developing the next generation of engineers and U.S. leaders.”
Cyber & Engineering Academic Center
After a program briefing, Maj. Gen. Milhorn, along with Army Corps and West Point officials, toured active construction sites. First was the Cyber and Engineering Academic Center (CEAC), where over 300,000 cubic yards of rock has been blasted from a mountainside to accommodate a 136,000 square foot state-of -the-art learning facility scheduled for completion in 2025. Just inside the construction gates, Gen. Milhorn got a close-up view of contractor’ preparations for additional rock blasting. (A special cover is placed over the rocks to keep all debris inside the construction area.)
The group briefly stopped at the Cadet Barracks Upgrade Program Office (CBUP) where a West Point official provided an overview of the program ─ a 10-year effort, beginning in 2013, to completely renovate and modernize all existing Cadet barracks. Renovations have already been completed for five barracks ─ Scott, MacArthur, Pershing, Eisenhower and Grant.
At Bradley Barracks, major renovations will provide modern living space for Cadets with amenities conducive to learning. There, Army Corps Resident Engineer Timothy Leonard and Team Leader Timothy Cain led a tour of the building, stopping at key points to discuss construction challenges and collaborations with contractors to meet them. The $121 million project is scheduled for completion later this year.
Inspections from Headquarters-level officials provide value beyond construction updates. They’re also opportunities to share information, best practices and address construction challenges from a different perspective. This was evident during briefings prior to inspections when Maj. Gen. Milhorn drew on his many years of experience, providing strategic advice in handling sensitive issues with project stakeholders, including customers, contractors and other high-ranking officials.
Another round of inspections began with a short visit to Cullum Hall and its supporting facilities ─ a historically-significant 44,225 sq. ft. facility housing a grand hall, receiving rooms for formal occasions, and the Memorial Room including the names of all West Point graduates killed in action since 1812. Renovations are creating an archival storage area along with new mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. Archaeological resources are being monitored by West Point’s Department of Public Works’ Cultural Resources Division.
Cemetery Land Reclamation Project
Next was the Cemetery Land Reclamation Project where the Army Corps is overseeing an expansion to the Academy’s cemetery, including space for over 800 crypts, a new maintenance building and a retaining wall and trees tempering a steep slope to the banks of New York’s Hudson River. Walking the site, Army Corps project manager Raymond Pifer provided an overview of the work and details of important aspects.
The tour concluded at Camp Buckner, reviewing Phase I of a four-phase renovation of this summer training facility for Cadets. Renovations have begun on 38 barrack buildings,13 sustainment buildings, and supporting utilities. The goal is to is address immediate and long-term structural integrity and revitalize facilities with improvements meeting mission-statement requirements.