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New cadet barracks to match historic buildings

Rendering of New Cadet Barracks. Image: USACE, New York District

By JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D.

West Point, N.Y. — Not too long ago, dozens of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point became ill and missed classes. According to the academy, what caused this is the fact that almost half of the Cadets are living in uncomfortable, crowded dorm rooms and that additional barracks are needed to relieve this situation. They tapped the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, to construct a new barracks since the agency has already successfully built numerous structures on the historic campus.

Construction of New Cadet Barracks. Photo: USACE, New York District

Presently, the District is blasting over 100,000 cubic yards of rock to make way for the new barracks. The look of the new structure will fit in well with the rest of the 200-year-old campus, will be energy efficient, and will save taxpayers approximately $44,000 annually.

"A new barracks that meets current Army standards is needed to relieve overcrowding in the existing barracks," said Richard Mandra, project manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. "Right now, the entire first-year class and part of the second-year class are housed with three Cadets in rooms designed for two cadets. This project will allow assignment of two cadets per room."

The new cadet barracks is being designed and constructed by Army Corps contractor Walsh Construction Company of Chicago and its subcontractor, Clark Nexsen. The barracks will be 287,000 square feet in size and have six floors. Each floor will accommodate 130 Cadets in two-person rooms. The entire barracks will provide living space for 650 Cadets.

Cadets will be provided with latrines and showers, a laundry area, day rooms, office areas, study and collaboration rooms, trash and recycling areas and offices and storage rooms for the cadets.

The barracks, like the surrounding buildings, will be constructed in military gothic revival architecture. The design will include granite veneers or overlays, gothic arches, sally ports or secure entryways and crenellated parapets with embrasures and limestone accents.

"The project is located at the Central Post of the main campus which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The barracks will be constructed of granite from a local supplier to match the existing buildings," said Matthew A. Ludwig, team leader, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District.

In addition, the design will also incorporate modern architectural features such as a curtain wall in the center of the façade.

Unlike the other buildings constructed at West Point, the barracks will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified. A solar hot water system and a radiant heating and cooling system will make it energy efficient.

During the heating season, the radiant system that is being installed works by circulating heated water through tubing in the floor. During the cooling season the radiant system works very much the same way, except the water is chilled and circulated through the same tubing.

Construction of the barracks is expected to be completed in summer 2016 and cadets will be able to use the new facility by the end of December 2016. 

JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D., is a public affairs specialist and writer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. She can be reached at joanne.castagna@usace.army.mil.