Fort McCoy News April 24, 2015

Master Planning at 'nucleus' of Fort McCoy's future

Public Affairs Staff

Over the installation's more than a century of operation, Fort McCoy has grown exponentially in size and scope. Behind the scenes, there always has been a team like the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Master Planning Division to help plan that growth.

"Some (people) might say the Master Planning (Division) is the nucleus of DPW," said Division Chief Liane Haun, referring to the number of Fort McCoy's future projects that begin within the division. "A lot of what happens here starts off from the center with us, and moves out from there."

(From left) Dustin Robertson and Mark Schiermeyer of Integrated Logistics Services talk in building 490 with Facility Manager Kert Hanson of the Directorate of Public Works Troop Facility Support Branch about troop housing.

There is a strong team approach among all the members of the division, as well as throughout the entire DPW, Haun said.
The division includes the Master Planning Branch, Troop Facility Support Branch (TFSB), Real Property Branch, and the Key Shop.

Division members regularly interact to meet their mission, which includes keeping Fort McCoy set up with the best facilities, training areas, and ranges as the "Total Force Training Center." They also partner with agencies throughout DPW and Fort McCoy.

To keep the installation among the best in the Army, the division team continuously looks to modernize Fort McCoy's infrastructure as well as enhance the post's military value through improved training-area utilization and land-use initiatives. Both are among the strategic objectives for Fort McCoy.

Haun said the division meets those objectives through extensive planning.

"Our division is part of building plans for the installation up front — whether it's a near-term, long-term, or short-term plan," Haun said. "However, when most people think about the Master Planning Division, they think long-term plans. Overall, we're responsible for integrating civilian and military interests to produce a master plan that is unified and comprehensive in order to provide standardized, effective, and efficient quality-of-life facilities and infrastructure to Soldiers, Families, and civilian employees."

Master Planner Brian Harrie has worked in a master-planner capacity at Fort McCoy for 10 years. He described how some of the plans are made from a facilities or infrastructure perspective.

"I look toward the future with all the build-out requirements in mind as well as analysis that is necessary to make sure we are poised (for) the future," Harrie said. "For example, for areas that need improvement, we'll create area development plans (ADPs) that serve as a guide."

ADPs are for new construction only, Haun said. ADPs that are based on a cost of up to $1 million are completed by the DPW Engineering Division. ADPs above $1 million that include military construction funding are coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers.

"The ADP provides the link between the Installation Development Plan (IDP) — which offers broad planning direction at the land-use level — and site plans for programmed construction projects," Haun said. "It specifies development priorities and construction phasing that correlate with installation facility programming and serves as a roadmap to steer phased construction and cost-effective capital investment. Future development plans consider flexibility, expansion capability, and phasing potential."

Before any plans are developed by the master planner, one of the first stops is the Real Property Branch.

"They tell me what the existing condition is of areas of interest for a project," Harrie said. "The Real Property Inventory (RPI) is my starting point for any type of analysis that I do. All of my planning is based on facility management, so I need to know what we have in order to determine where we need to go."

The Real Property Branch supports Fort McCoy property management and development to include performing Army capital asset accounting required to assist the government in its lifecycle process of managing all real-estate and real-property matters at the installation.

"The RPI is the sum total of all the land, buildings, and infrastructure located at Fort McCoy," said Real Property Account Officer Robert Wells. "It includes buildings, buried gas lines, power lines, and parking lots. Everything that is physically attached to (Fort McCoy) land is in that inventory."

Wells said the RPI feeds the planning modules and calculations within the division.

"It factors what we need to do our mission here," he said. "You have to balance new and changing requirements against the changing inventory that includes land and buildings to accommodate new and changing missions."

One notable project the division had a part in is the continuing renovation of troop-support facilities, which are managed by the TFSB, in the 600, 800, and 1600-2800 blocks on Fort McCoy. The barracks, dining facilities, and classroom buildings in those blocks have been upgraded significantly over the past 10 years.

"Most of those renovations have been completed through indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts," Haun said. "If a building looks the same and the design is the same, we can issue multiple buildings on a task order with the IDIQ contracts to quickly have them renovated. Thankfully we've been able to get many of those renovated to improve the quality of life for the troops who train here."

TFSB Facility Manager Kert Hanson said he has seen firsthand how service members have appreciated the end result of troop facility upgrades.

"When we issue a nice product like we have now with these upgraded facilities, and when we receive a 'thank you' from the troops, it's thanks to a lot of work by a lot of people within DPW," Hanson said.

Training Facility Coordinator Jessica Reeves said she is proud to be a part of a team that makes life better for service members training at Fort McCoy.

"The way I see it is the Soldiers give so much to us, so the best thing we can do to give back to them is to provide the best service and make sure our buildings are the best they can be for them," Reeves said.

Ultimately, as Reeves said, all the planning and project execution comes down to making a better community at Fort McCoy. Haun said that will continue to be the division's focus.

"A way we are continuing to improve the installation's future is through the IDP that is now being updated," Haun said. "Our division has a lead role in that plan, which will affect Fort McCoy for decades to come."

For more information about the Master Planning Division, call 608-388-7992.