New barracks to be constructed at MCLB Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New barracks to be constructed at MCLB Albany

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June 2, 2008

Albany -- Far away from the battlefields of Afghanistan is Ft. Bragg, North Carolina.  It was here where soldiers returning back from war found some of their barracks in deplorable conditions.

The images of broken toilet seats and over-flowing sewage were shown on YouTube. It wasn't very long before pictures prompted questions about the conditions of barracks across the country -- barracks that thousands of men and women like USMC Sgt. Jeffery Meadows call home.

He says, "We all go through the rooms and make sure that everyone has the correct living standards. We like to make sure that our rooms are very clean."

And clean they are. The barracks at MCLB Albany have the amenities that you would find in any apartment; TV's, refrigerators, bathrooms. Lt. Caleb Eames says that while barrack conditions here are good, they will soon be getting better.

"We have Marines that are stationed here that were born in California, born in New York City, born over seas. But they're here in Albany, they're serving the Marine Corps and we've provided them with these barracks to live in. They're good, but they are 50-years-old and they're due to be replaced. We're happy to be able to provide a good quality of life for our Marines. That's something that the Marine Corps cares very much about -- is taking care of the Marines that served their country," says Eames.

Within the next two years, the existing barracks will be demolished once a 3-story, 100-room facility is constructed on the grounds. It is projected to provide housing for up to 200 single Marines.

"We anticipate this being about an 18-month design build process. And we should have this package ready in the next couple of months -- barring no changes to the current changes," says Lt. Cmdr. Mark Rouleau, United State Navy.

The $15 million project was approved by Congress and will be built near the existing barracks. Along with new additions to MCLB Albany, the Corps has requesting $1.2 billion in the 2009 budget for 35 projects which will provide more than 12,000 barrack spaces.

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