Buildings constructed in 1972 are still in use whichever way you turn your head. Buildings much older continue to be used every single day with no problem. However, the condition of a building constructed in 1972 can range from bad to great depending on how it has been maintained and for what purpose.
As with many buildings constructed almost 50 years ago, the Reception Battalion Barracks at Fort Jackson had seen better days. Many of the building’s systems had aged beyond their useful life and were failing to provide the quality that incoming soldiers deserved to see from the U.S. Army. Knowing that inadequate living conditions negatively affect the in-processing of new soldiers and that conditions would only continue to get worse if not repaired, the leadership at Fort Jackson came to the Charleston District to complete a renovation of the facility.
The 56,000 square foot facility is used to receive and process trainees in preparation of basic combat training. With 50,000 new soldiers coming to Fort Jackson each year, this was a priority project.
The facility had seen better days. The building’s systems all needed replaced, including the HVAC, plumbing and electrical. But the building itself needed major upgrades, including replacing the roof, doors, windows, walls, floors and ceilings.
“The inadequate living & working conditions negatively impact the training mission,” said Col. James Ellerson, former garrison commander at Fort Jackson, who requested the project. “The facility has never undergone any building systems repairs, only patchwork repairs in recent years. Failure to restore this building will result in a negative impact on the mission of the 120th Adjutant General Battalion, which is to receive, process, motivate, and begin soldierization of receptees prior to Basic Combat Training.”
The nearly $18 million project was started in October 2018. The Charleston District team got to work with the laundry list of repairs needed. Each of the failed systems was removed and replaced with a new one that was up to current standards. All of the flooring, walls, insulation, ceilings, and roof were removed and replaced with quality materials that will last through the next several decades.
The renovation was completed in March 2020 and turned back over to Fort Jackson.
This project was the sixth barracks renovation that the District has completed for the 120th Adjutant General Battalion. The battalion is currently residing in the building and are happy with the work, but is now dealing with issues related to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has cancelled the transfer of many troops from Fort Jackson, which has led to the need for more bed space. The battalion is still processing in new troops, but less are leaving. Luckily, the new space arrived just in time to provide assistance.