|Fort McCoy’s newest barracks is ready to support troops
training at the installation following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept.
The ribbon is cut for the new Annual Training/Mobilization
Barracks at Fort McCoy. Director of Public Works Darrell Neitzel
is at the podium. Also pictured, from left, are Garrison
Commander Col. Steven W. Nott, TCI
Architects/Engineers/Contractor Representative Matt Gobel, Cpl.
Matthew Riley of the 86th Training Division, Omaha District
Corps of Engineers Representative Nathan Butts, Four Bears
Contractor Elmer Hanson and Garrison Command Sergeant Major
Command Sgt. Maj. William T. Bissonette Jr.
(Photo by Anita Johnson )
Darrell Neitzel, director of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public
Works, said the facility represents the future of barracks buildings at
The installation still has approximately 270 wood barracks in use, which
were constructed as temporary facilities when the cantonment area was
constructed in the early 1940s.
“We were here not very long ago, less than a year ago, to have the
ground-breaking ceremony for this building,” Neitzel said. “In less than
a year, we have this nice, beautiful building ready to be put into use
for our training Soldiers.”
The $6.8 million Annual Training/Mobilization barracks is the first new
barracks built since 1942 and the first-ever permanent barracks facility
built at Fort McCoy. The contractor was Four Bears/TCI JV, LLC of Elroy,
The two-story, brick-and-mortar structure is 29,482 square feet and can
house up to 168 troops. A unique feature of the design/build facility is
its open-bay concept, which can be divided into eight sections to allow
for the segregation of male and female troops or separate units to
maintain unit integrity under one roof.
Guests at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Annual
Training/Mobilization Barracks view the outside of the facility.
(Photo by Anita Johnson )
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott said the new Annual
Training/Mobilization Barracks represents the beginning of change as the
installation continues to modernize its facilities. The installation has
renovated many of its existing facilities to support the quality of life
for troops training at Fort McCoy, he said.
“Renovation is still a short-term solution for that long-term challenge,
replacing temporary buildings that are now 70 years old,” Nott said.
“This building represents the start of that long-term solution.”
The new barracks also incorporates many new technologies that give
taxpayers the “biggest bang for the buck,” he said. Fort McCoy gains
efficiencies in space management and energy efficiency, as well as
allows for better use of the facility space. Nott said this further
increases the building’s value to taxpayers.
The building is LEED Silver certified, meeting Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design Silver standards, which means it will be very
energy efficient, he said.
From a Soldier’s standpoint, troops using the facility will experience
substantial improvements to their quality of life, Nott said. Some of
the amenities supporting this will be modern bathrooms, laundry rooms, a
study room, and an activity room. The facility will be the first
air-conditioned billets on Fort McCoy.
This is the beginning of the realization of a very diligent
strategic-planning process, he said.
“A lot of work has gone in over several decades in determining what Fort
McCoy should look like in the future,” Nott said. “The funding process,
the planning and execution process with contracting and construction
actually takes a very long time.”
The planning process to get the new building probably started two
decades ago when the installation senior leadership began to determine
how Fort McCoy would remain relevant in the 21st century.
Cpl. Matthew Riley of the 86th Training Division was chosen to
participate in the ceremony as a representative of the customers who
will use the facility, Nott said. The 86th is a unit that trains many
troops and participates in exercises at Fort McCoy. Soldiers being
trained by the 86th will be among the personnel who use the new
Following the ceremony, attendees were given tours to see the inside of