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Army ceremonially lays bricks for 4th BCT HQ
A master brick mason, left, watches Steve Jacob, a project superintendent with Mortenson Construction, lay a ceremonial brick Wednesday on the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s new headquarters at Fort Stewart. - photo by Photo by Denise Etheridge
Once completed, an estimated 640,000 bricks will cover the new brigade and battalion headquarters for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Fort Stewart. Military officials and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Mortenson Construction gathered for a brick laying ceremony at the headquarters construction site Wednesday morning.
“To look at a brick laid properly is (to see) a work of art,” 3rd Infantry Division deputy commander general-rear Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips said. “Each brick has been laid by human hands … by a craftsman’s craftsman.”
The 140,000-square foot facility will house Vanguard Brigade and six battalions, said Troy Funk, a resident engineer with the Corps. The headquarters is scheduled for completion in March 2012, Funk said.
“We’re about seven to eight months away from turning this building over to the government,” said Greg Fossett, a construction executive with Mortenson Construction. “We’re in the home stretch here.”
The project, which is 48 percent complete, is costing the government an estimated $23.1 million to build. It is one of several large-scale construction projects under way on Fort Stewart within a 500-acre area adjacent to Highway 144.
A dining hall, physical fitness center and 20 barracks — each housing up to 72 soldiers — also are being built, said Douglas Saxon, area engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District. Saxon said six company operations facilities and six tactical equipment maintenance facilities are also being built. He estimated the total cost for these projects are more than $250 million.
Homer McBrayer, corps division construction chief, said this year’s current projects in the Savannah District, which includes Fort Bragg, Fort Benning and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, is the most construction the district has ever experienced.
“We’ve done a lot of upgrading at Hunter, too,” McBrayer said. “It’s really made a facelift (of Hunter) in the last few years.”
McBrayer, who has been in the engineering field for 48 years, said there’s more development to come in the district. Fort Benning is due to receive the Armor School and Center because of a recent BRAC (base closure and realignment commission) recommendation, he said.
Fort Stewart’s construction projects were planned well before a fifth brigade anticipated to locate here was canceled by the Department of Defense in July 2009, Saxon said.

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