Fort Wainwright breaks ground on new barracks for single soldiers
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With a ceremonial groundbreaking, Fort Wainwright announced the construction of a new facility for soldiers at the base.
The four-story building will house 252 single soldiers.
Planning began 14 years ago, according to Lt. Col. Virginia Brickner, Deputy Commander for the Alaska District with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Due to budgetary restraints, other requirements, it was put on hold, and then it was reinitiated in 2020, so the Corps of Engineers received a notice to proceed. We began all of the design, the award process.”
It is designed to address a shortage of housing on base. Col. Nathan Surrey, Garrison Commander at Fort Wainwright, said, “We currently have about 350 soldiers that are forced to live off base that are barracks eligible, but we just don’t have the space for them.”
Another goal of the project is to improve quality of life for soldiers. “Multiple laundry facilities, exercise room, pavilion, and the amenities that our soldiers really need and deserve here in the Last Frontier,” Lt. Col. Brickner said.
The rooms have what is called a “one plus one” design, where each will have his or her own bedroom, and will share some living space with another, including a kitchenette. Lt. Col. Bricker explained this offers soldiers “a chance to kind of have their own space that they can do with, I will say kind of, as they please. They decorate it, put up TVs, have their gaming systems, and it’s a space that’s their own. It’s a little bit of their own personal safe space here.”
This project is scheduled for an August 2025 completion date, at a cost of 70 million dollars. It marks the first major housing project on base in 12 years. “The age of our barracks is a concern, built in the 50s and 60s, the vast majority of them,” Col. Surrey said.
He added two more new barracks are on the horizon. “We are not done. This is just the beginning.”
Copyright 2023 KTVF. All rights reserved.