West Point getting $192M from US government to expand barracks
WEST POINT, N.Y. — The U.S. Military Academy is getting $192 million in federal funding for a 650-bed expansion of a barracks on the campus.
U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey said in a prepared statement that the money will be included in the 2013 federal budget and marks the first time in 40 years there will be new living quarters for cadets at West Point.
“Our nation’s Army cadets have been forced to live in overcrowded and substandard barracks for far too long,” said Hinchey, D-Hurley.
Hinchey said 40 percent of the housing for the academy’s 4,400 students has three people in rooms that were designed for two.
“Such poor living conditions present a variety of challenges for cadets, including the interfering with the students’ ability to study, rest and sleep properly, which are critical to our future leaders’ ability to thrive and meet all of the rigorous challenges at West Point,” he said. “This is a need that has gone unmet by Congress for decades, and I’m pleased that we’re finally moving forward with a plan to provide adequate housing at the academy.”
Hinchey spokesman Jeff Lieberson said the monetary allocation is large — $192 million works out to about $295,400 per bed being added — because steep areas of the riverfront campus will need to be cleared for the project.
“There are some challenges with the site location, and I know that they need to have the building constructed in a way that it’s consistent with the historical structures that are on the campus,” Lieberson said. “They couldn’t just put up a college-looking dorm.
“The circumstances make it so that it is maybe more costly than some other structures that you would try to compare it to,” Lieberson said.
West Point officials said public relations representatives involved with the project were busy with preparation for Saturday’s graduation, at which Vice President Joe Biden is to speak, and were not available for comment.
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