Navy awards $25.6M Marine barracks contract in Beaufort

BEAUFORT -- The Navy will spend more than $70 million to provide a new home for the rising number of recruits arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Walton Construction of Harahan, La., was awarded a $25.6 million contract last week by Naval Facilities Engineering Command-Southeast in Jacksonville, Fla., to design and build barracks and headquarters for the 3rd Recruit Battalion at Parris Island by summer 2010.

The contract also gives the Navy the option of awarding the work for two additional barracks to Walton, giving the contract a total worth of nearly $78 million.

The company has done about $600 million in contracts for the Navy in the past three years, said Michael Burt, business development manager for Walton Construction.

Meanwhile, to handle the increased number of recruits, the Corps authorized $13 million to build 16 temporary barracks that each house 88 recruits.

The temporary barracks are expected to last five to seven years while the design and construction of permanent facilities continues. That project is being done by Hightower Construction of Charleston.

Burt said Walton expects to be finished with 3rd Battalion's permanent headquarters and barracks by summer 2010. Two more barracks could be built after that.

The 3rd Battalion currently is housed in some of the depot's older facilities, most of which were built in the 1960s, according to Lt. Rob Zhang of the depot's public works and engineering department.

It likely will be six months or more before Walton begins site work on the new barracks, he said.