Command begins moving into Fort Knox HQ
By Steve Arel
U.S. Army Cadet Command
FORT KNOX, Ky. — The new year begins with something of a belated Christmas gift for U.S. Army Cadet Command: a new home.
After some delays, employees from the command’s forward element at Knox move Jan. 5 into the refurbished structure at 1003 1st Cavalry Regiment Road in what represents the most significant portion so far of the organization’s BRAC transition.
Some 31 people in various divisions will settle into the new Cadet Command Forward headquarters that sits adjacent to Brooks Field, the post’s main parade field. The building eventually will house 96 people by next summer, including the deputy commanding general, whose position will move from its current base at Fort Monroe, Va.
“Now, seeing the furniture come in, it looks good,” said John Sogan, Cadet Command’s BRAC project officer at Fort Knox. “Cadet Command employees are going to get a quality facility.”
The two-story building for years was home to Fort Knox’s blood center until it closed a couple of years ago. Over the last 12 months or so, the building has been gutted and restructured to accommodate administrative operations.
Cadet Command had expected to move in early last summer, Sogan said, but that date got pushed back because of additional requested modifications. Among them were bringing bathrooms up to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, adding data lines in walls and installing a unisex bathroom and break room in the basement.
Contractors are spending December moving in furniture and piecing together partitions that will create sectioned space for Cadet Command employees. The partitions, through which wiring and data lines will run to allow easy connections for employees, contain padded paneling that’s designed to deaden sound and provide some privacy.
The building itself is part of a three-building cluster — Buildings 1001 and 1002 are the others — that, by the end of Fiscal 2011, will house all Cadet Command headquarters personnel.
Sogan, who has worked on this initial move since being hired in March, said the project has posed considerable challenges at times. He has tried to head off potential issues and foster employee buy-in by meeting with division chiefs and deputies from all of the command’s directorates on everything from the setup of their areas to the design of workstations, all to ensure they have the space and equipment to operate effectively once BRAC concludes.
“There are so many different players, and I’ve been trying to keep them informed and make changes” as warranted, Sogan said. “It’s been a major undertaking.”
But it’s just the first in a series of hurdles to prepare for Cadet Command’s transition to Kentucky, which is expected to be complete by fall 2011. Chuck Waggoner, Cadet Command’s BRAC manager at Fort Knox, said the work doesn’t get any easier.
“This is just the first building of the footprint,” he said.
As moving day for the first building nears, Sogan keeps in mind part of the BRAC mantra that states that employees who are being displaced will relocate to facilities that are either as good as those they leave behind, or better.
“In think we’ve met that with this facility,” he said.