FORT HOOD — The $65 million renovation of the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters building is underway and expected to be completed by August 2018.

Demolition for the renovation began Nov. 4. First Team soldiers can expect to begin moving inside by September 2018, said 1st Cavalry Division spokesman Maj. John Miller.

There were two reasons for the buildings upgrade, Miller said.

“First, it’s a life cycle update. The building was erected in 1983 and has not upgraded (in total) since,” he said. “Second, and most important, is the (U.S. Army Forces Command) change to Home Station Mission Command made the building unable to support mission requirements.”

Ultimately, the renovation will provide the 1st Cavalry Division with a state-of-the-art mission command center to conduct global operations, Miller said. The new headquarters will update and improve communication systems throughout the facility to include greater access to classified and coalition networks.

Portions of the division headquarters element and the division’s sustainment brigade are currently deployed to Afghanistan. The division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team is scheduled to deploy to Kuwait in early 2017, while the 1st and 2nd brigades are on a rotational deployment to South Korea.

The new floor plan also has an improved operational layout to better support coordination and collaboration between sections, he said, and will provide better security with improvised surveillance and access control.

The contract for just the building renovation is $50 million. Miller said there would be an additional $10-15 million spent for items such as furniture and security.

“The base funding (for construction) is sustainment, renovation and modernization funds from Installation Management Command,” he said. “(Additional) funding will be provided through Forces Command for furniture, audio/visual systems, and electronic surveillance security systems.”

First Team soldiers will work from temporary buildings until the renovation is complete, Miller said. The temporary space was designed to accommodate 700 soldiers.

“With most of the division staff currently in Afghanistan, the number is closer to 350,” he said. “Once the division headquarters re-deploys, it will be closer to the 700 number.” | 254-501-7554

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