Center program furnishes Army War College academic facility > U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center > News Stories

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center Huntsville project filled the newly constructed state of the art educational support space for the US Army War College (USAWC) at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, with the furnishing required to provide premier strategic-level Professional Military Education for the Army.

The USAWC officially opened its $92 million state-of-the-art academic Root Hall in October.

Huntsville Center’s Furnishings Program provided a full-service project-delivery process that included technical and acquisition support while adhering to scope, schedule and budget.

Huntsville Furnishings Program procures administrative, barracks, lodging and educational furnishings for various federal agencies worldwide. The program is a full-service organization providing project management, interior design, procurement, installation and quality assurance for all federal agencies’ furniture requirements.

Jennifer McDowell, Senior Project Manager for the Huntsville Center furniture program was the project manager for the Root Hall project. McDowell said the innovative academic facility meets all Army Standards and General Instruction Building Standard Design Criteria.

“The ambiance found throughout the building is both calming yet stimulating to the mind striking the perfect balance for those leaders attending the Army War College,” she said.

The $5 million project provided furnishings for the facility that included four large lecture halls (which can be quickly transformed into a 600-person auditorium), seminar rooms with various configurations, conference rooms, private instructor offices, counseling rooms, library/resource center/computer labs, administrative offices, reception areas, classrooms, student, instructor break areas spaces as well as various break out and collaboration spaces found throughout the building. 

Maj. Gen. David Hill, commandant of the US Army War College, said the new state-of-the-art academic facility was designed to enhance learning for generations to come.

“While our spaces and technologies change, our mission remains unchanged,” Hill said.

The USAWC mission is to: “Develop leaders on strategy, operational art and joint warfighting; teaching force management, the elements of national power and strategic readiness; fostering innovation, design thinking and national security affairs; and strengthening our profession through deep introspection and discussion on ethics, leadership and organizational culture.”

“Root Hall allows us to carry Root’s vision boldly into the future while honoring the proud history and traditions upon which this great college was founded,” Hill said.

The U.S. Army War College was established in 1901 by Secretary of War Elihu Root. The first academic building was constructed in early 1900s on the site of Fort McNair. President Roosevelt set the cornerstone. After closing for several World War II years, and an interim year at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Army leadership chose to position the U.S. Army War College in 1951 at Carlisle Barracks – itself a historic installation dating to 1757 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The previous Root Hall was built in the 1960s.

The furniture detail was coordinated with between Huntsville Center and Baltimore District and contractors to support USACE in an overall complete project facility turn over.

McDowell said watching the facility transform from an outer shell into a “magnificent” higher learning facility is one of the highlights of her career.

“Our team had the honor of bringing form and function together in the furnishings of the new Root Hall that meet the innovative intent of each space while also blending and arranging the color, texture and shape within each space like a piece of art,” she said.

McDowell said as a large construction project, multiple contractors’ schedules and activities needed meticulous coordination.

“Challenges were faced, and obstacles encountered. However, we kept our eyes focused on the end goal and finished successfully,” McDowell said.

“We were able to coordinate and integrate all schedules to meet the academic start of their new school year.”

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