By Dino W. Buchanan, Honolulu District Public Affairs
Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Directorate of Public Works, 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion (29th BEB) and Military Police units gathered Sept. 15 to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Schofield’s new South Range Road Project area.
The 101-acre complex built by contractor Joint Venture Dck-ECC Pacific LLC and managed by the Honolulu District, features 22 new buildings, five miles of roadway, a one million gallon water storage tank, and is the new home for the 29th BEB, the 249th Engineer Battalion Prime Power "A" Company, the 19th Military Police Battalion (CID), and the 500th Military Intelligence Brigade.
During the ceremony U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific Ocean Division Commander Brig. Gen. Jeffrey L. Milhorn told guests the planning for the South Range project began in 2004, with design starting in 2007 for a complex to be built in an area of Schofield Barracks “previously used for farming pineapple and had no utilities or infrastructure.”
“With the today’s ribbon cutting, we are celebrating operation of these state-of-the-art and highly energy efficient troop command and maintenance facilities, while also recognizing our continuing partnership with the Army Garrison–Hawaii, the 25th Infantry Division, IMCOM, military commands and our contractor teams,” Milhorn said.
In March 2011, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $127.9 million contract – far below the programmed amount of $237 million - to Joint Venture Dck-ECC Pacific LLC for construction of the South Range campus, the largest single construction contract in Honolulu District's recent history.
“Four projects for the campus were consolidated into one solicitation contract package because of the remoteness of the construction area, requirement to incorporate all utilities and infrastructure, common campus architecture, efficiency and economy of scale,” Milhorn said.
The South Range’s new infrastructure and sustainability components constructed also establishes a utilities backbone structure for various vertical buildings, a training support center and many future military construction building projects as well as translates into real dollar savings for the Garrison and the Army for the next 20 to 30 years.
“Handing over the keys to several command and battalion facilities inside Schofield’s South Range project area is what we – the Corps of Engineers and partners - envision when we sign on to build these world class facilities,” Milhorn said. “These particular facilities will have a significant impact on the quality of life and readiness of Schofield’s Soldiers as many new South Range occupants were previously scattered in overcrowded and inadequate facilities throughout Schofield.”
Milhorn explained that the completion of these South Range facilities allows Army units to ensure ease in scheduling training, maintaining the units' readiness, plus more productivity and higher morale.
“Our entire Army Corps of Engineers’ team takes great pride in being a part of the Army team and the supporting role we provide to our Soldiers, so they can fulfill their mission in Hawaii and around the world.”
Participating in the traditional maile lei untying and ribbon-cutting ceremony were Brig. Gen. Milhorn, Lt. Col. Christopher W. Crary, Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District, Lt. Col. Michael Binetti, Commander, 29th Brigade Engineer Battalion, Maj. Chris Izquierdo, Executive Officer, 19th Military Police (CID) Battalion, Capt. Michael Simmons, Commander, A Company, 249th Engineer Battalion (Prime Power), Mr. Len Housley, Deputy Commander U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, and Mrs. Sally Pfenning, Director, Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison-HI. The Rev. Sherman Thompson led the Hawaiian blessing and maile lei ribbon untying cutting ceremony.
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.