Fort McCoy News Nov. 27, 2015

New $5.9 million dining facility supports NCOA

Public Affairs Staff

A new $5.9 million dining facility opened Nov. 17 at Fort McCoy.

The Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the facility, which is part of the NCOA training campus.

The dining facility, designated as building 1362, can accommodate up to 390 people; is built to last a minimum life of 50 years; and has the latest heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, electrical, and plumbing systems. It also is designed with the latest antiterrorism and force-protection features, according to Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) specifications for the facility.

Photo 1
An exterior view of the new $5.9 million dining facility at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Fort McCoy Food Service Manager Andy Pisney with the Logistics Readiness Center helped with the design of the facility. He said the facility layout is designed to speedily feed customers and encourage healthy eating.

"We set up this dining facility with a specific purpose," Pisney said during the ceremony.

"When you go to the head counter (to start to get food), you go right into the salad bar. It's a self-service salad bar, and there are four of them. And then you'll have the self-service hot line that will have (a variety of items including) vegetables and other healthy foods.

"(Also,) a few of the other features that we worked with the (ACOE) on for this dining facility were to make a lot of self-service options," Pisney said. "We did that because it also allows for speed of service as these (students) have to stay on a training schedule."

The new dining facility complements the NCOA's classroom training, billeting, and administrative functions within one contiguous footprint, said NCOA S1 (Human Resources) NCO in Charge Master Sgt. Adam Rose, who served as narrator during the ceremony.

"Construction on the (NCOA) campus began in 2008," Rose said. "This dining facility is the final phase of that construction. The estimated cost of the entire self-contained campus is over $70 million."

Photo 2
Bob and Renee Cornell, parents of Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, cut the ribbon
to officially open the new dining facility. Also pictured are Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott, 83rd U.S. Army Reserve Readiness Training Center Commander Col. Nelson Irizarry, and Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy Commandant Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Dryer.
Photo by Vanessa Barnes

Students in the NCOA's Basic Leader Course (BLC) and Battle Staff Course (BSC) will be using the dining facility while attending classes.

"In the (BLC) and (BSC), we produce over 1,500 graduates annually," Rose said.

"Our campus operates with state-of-the-art technology in our classrooms, lodging facilities, staff areas, and now our dining facility. A very special thanks goes out to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Directorate of Public Works, and dedicated contractors for making this vision (of a self-contained campus) a reality."

NCOA Commandant Command Sgt. Maj. Steven Dryer said having dining operations on campus will save money and reduce safety risks.

Previously, NCOA students used the dining facility in building 50, located two blocks from the academy campus, Dryer said. Now, less money in transportation will be spent during the winter months to take students to a dining facility, and students no longer will have to walk along a busy roadway to get to a dining facility.

"This (facility) also will benefit our staff because they will use it more," Dryer said. "Also, there are few other academies like this in the Army that have the self-contained capability like this academy has now.

That capability may encourage more students to come here for training."

The NCOA was activated at Fort McCoy in 1988. It was dedicated and named after Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, an Army Reserve Soldier from Menomonee Falls, Wis., who was killed while serving in Iraq in 2004.

For more information about the NCOA, call 608-388-5378.