Fort McCoy News August 22, 2014

Contract awarded for 42 new housing units

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

A contract to build 42 new units of military Family housing on South Post was awarded Aug. 1.

Carlson Constructors Corporation of Joliet, Ill., received the contract totaling nearly $22 million, said Roy Brewer, Fort McCoy Army Corps of Engineers resident engineer. This is the first new housing contract awarded since homes were completed in the South Post housing area in 2012.

An Army Housing Market Analysis completed in 2010 determined Fort McCoy has a housing requirement of 134 units based on personnel needs for housing. A housing deficit was created when Fort McCoy discontinued a lease for 80 homes in Tomah, Wis., in 2011.

The new construction will bring the housing total to 99 homes.

"This is welcome news that we have been waiting on for some time," said Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Housing Division Chief Ross O'Neil. "This will help us get much closer to our requirement of 134 homes."

An Aug. 20 preconstruction conference familiarized the contractor with priorities relative to safety, security, fire and site conditions, Brewer said. Critical information regarding basic contract clauses and critical specification requirements were discussed.

"We addressed what our expectations are to have a successful project," Brewer said.

The 42 new units will be single Family ranch-style homes — similar to those already in place, O'Neil said.

The smallest of the homes to be constructed will have nearly 1,700 square feet of living space.

"Our Families here tell us all the time this is some of the best housing they've ever had," he said. "The new homes should be just as nice."

Master Planner Brian Harrie works in DPW's military construction planning to prepare projects such as this.

He said he has worked with O'Neil, the Army Corps of Engineers, and others in the planning to get new military Family housing at Fort McCoy as far back as 2006.

"Fort McCoy has been aggressive in the past decade at working to minimize our housing deficiency," Harrie said.

Harrie said the ranch-style Family housing units were determined to be the best option for all Family housing.

"One thing we knew from the Master Plan is we wanted to be consistent, so all of the houses have similar types of architectural language and style," Harrie said. "All the new homes will have similar floor plans so when Soldiers and their Families come here, they'll be able to have consistent choices."

Harrie said the full timetable on when the first units will be completed still is being determined, however, ground infrastructure work could begin as soon as this fall.

When the project is completed, O'Neil said the housing area will be a "nice little community."

"Having more units also will likely give us the opportunity to offer more door-to-door moves for military Families where they can leave their previous base and come here and get into government housing," O'Neil said. "Now that the contract has been awarded, this area will only get better."

For more information on Fort McCoy housing, call 608-388-3704.