Barracks built in the 1970s on Fort Bragg have been deemed uninhabitable and are scheduled to be demolished after all soldiers living there are relocated. Twelve barracks in total failed inspection in August due to mold. Mold has been a recurring issue in the barracks due to increased moisture levels due to poor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It was deemed that it would be too costly to pay for the changes to repair the building versus building new buildings altogether. In fact, the air conditioning unit leaks often and is too expensive to repair or replace.
The Soldiers planned to be relocated by the end of September. There is no new housing for the soldiers to move to immediately, and many will have to move to privatized housing which will not be as close in proximity to their unit as in the barracks. About 500 soldiers in total have been given or are awaiting approval for a move to privatized housing due to the mold.
Some soldiers were given days’ notice to move, and some were moved one floor down in the barracks. In addition to moving their items, the individuals also must clean their room of mold. Per reports, mold-covered walls, ceiling tiles, and furniture throughout the barracks.
While the decision to close some barracks may seem rash, the leadership at Fort Bragg admitted that they were unable to track the mold or problems in the barracks until recently. The software used to track issues in the barracks made it difficult to identify systemic issues versus outlier issues. Per a press conference, mold issues were previously dealt with through cleaning and moving individuals into different rooms. Once the recent inspections showed the level of mold, the decision was made that the buildings or certain areas were uninhabitable.
The demolition of twelve buildings is set for some time in 2023. Refurbishment is planned for another five buildings. Per a spokesperson for Army Material Command, the barrack construction and renovation will occur over 5 years and will require $13 billion in funding.