Recovery Act keeps America working to lift Soldiers’ spirits

Published Aug. 25, 2010

Lily of the valley, wild bergamot and lavender are just a few of the plants that will populate the healing garden for the barracks the Louisville District is building with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

"It’s one of the reasons we really liked their proposal," explained Jessica Charles from the Fort Campbell field office and a member of the source contract selection evaluation board for the Warriors in Transition barracks. "It seems like they got why we’re building that building. The reason the Soldiers are going to be there is for healing."

The barracks are the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division’s largest ARRA-funded project, and the $24.6 million contract was awarded to the joint venture Clark/Caddell. As explained in the company’s contract proposal, "the healing garden was designed to provide a variety of experiences that renew the spirit and relax the body.… A variety of textures, colors, flowers and leaf shapes are available in the plant selection."

The project manager, Nora Hawk, pointed to the proposed wheelchair and prosthetic obstacle course — beside the garden and outside the four-story, 206-person building — as another feature that will "assist Soldiers in the recovery process." She said it all fits into the Army’s plan to provide an environment where injured Soldiers can focus on recovery and smoothly return to duty or to civilian life.

The project was about 33 percent built in August 2010, and construction is expected to be complete in September 2011. Even the dog days of summer with temperatures above 100 didn’t seem to slow the ARRA-funded workforce from hustling toward an early completion. For example, Aug. 11, with the temperature 98 degrees in the shade, scores of sub-contractors from eight states swarmed the building’s steel skeleton plying their specialties: plumbing, trusses, masonry, electrical, elevators, millwork, sprinklers and roofing.

"We always try to finish our contracts early," said B.J. Lay, senior site superintendent for Clark/Caddell. "We expect to get done early this time, too.