National Park Service Announces Major Rehabilitation Work at Vancouver Barracks

An artist's representation of Barracks Row from the west, looking east, with building 987 in the foreground.
An artist's representation of Barracks Row, as envisioned through the Master Plan. Barracks Building 987, soon to be home to the headquarters of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, is featured in the center right.

NPS Image


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Date: February 12, 2015
Contact: Ray Cozby, Vancouver Barracks Project Manager, 360-816-6238
Contact: Bob Varner, Forest Engineer, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 360-891-5181

VANCOUVER, WA –The National Park Service is pleased to announce its first major construction project that will take place at Vancouver Barracks, a new integral part of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

Since the National Park Service assumed responsibility for Vancouver Barracks in May 2012, the park has finalized the Master Planning effort and is moving forward with implementation.

This multi-million dollar and multi-faceted project will include rehabilitation of several buildings including building 987, a 33,000 sf historic double-barracks, building 404 a modern 5,000 sf maintenance building, phase I utility replacement, as well as the exterior rehabilitation of two additional large double-barracks, 989 and 993.

As part of the project, buildings 987 and 404 will house the Gifford Pinchot National Forest headquarters and the Columbia Cascades Communication Center, which is relocating to the park under a long term lease arrangement with the NPS. The combined value of the construction contract is estimated to be between $10 million and $14 million.

Routine maintenance work and other necessary facility repairs of these historic structures have been deferred for years and threatened to impact the integrity of these important US Army post buildings. Built in 1907 to accommodate 180 soldiers, building 987 was one of five signature buildings that define the south side of the US Army's historic Parade Ground.

The rehabilitation work is expected to begin in the spring of this year and be completed in 2016, as part of the National Park Service Centennial. The project will be managed by the NPS Denver Service Center with the local point of contact being regional Project Manager Ray Cozby. Contracted work will include creating office space and related uses for the 90-100 USDA Forest Service staff in the historic barracks and converting building 404, the former Army vehicle maintenance shop (once used by the National Guard) into the Forest Service radio dispatch center. 

The project scope includes upgrades to improve the building's energy performance such as providing insulation, window enhancements, and upgraded mechanical systems, as well as reduced water consumption. Modern interior walls and other recent alterations will be removed to achieve a more open and light-filled environment and a greater sense of historical authenticity. Other building improvements will include installation of an elevator and fire suppression and the new floor plan will facilitate better access, egress and circulation for different user groups (including visitors, employees, delivery people, and those with disabilities) while preserving historic integrity and USFS agency identity and legacy.

"We are looking forward to being located at this national park," said Janine Clayton, Forest Supervisor of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. "Our agency and forest will benefit from the higher visibility and enhanced opportunity to engage with the community at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site."

"We are thrilled that this project will secure a major, long-term partnership with our sister agency at the national park, as we usher in the National Park Service's second century of stewardship and community engagement." said Tracy Fortmann, Superintendent of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. "We are equally excited that funding has come through for the external rehabilitation of the remaining historic buildings on Barracks Row along the Parade Ground."

"This project is an exciting local connection to the National Park Service's Centennial in 2016, and supports our Centennial goals in a dynamic and inclusive way," Fortmann said. "Preservation of these core buildings is crucial for the National Park Service to tell the story of the U.S. Army at Vancouver Barracks and will facilitate a strong foundation in the National Park Service's existing and future interpretive and educational programs. Vancouver Barracks--with this influx of projects which will preserve these historic structures and landscapes--is becoming a busy place again under National Park Service stewardship. This and other projects are assisting in opening up the former post to welcome the public as never before. We welcome this project to lead us into the National Park Service's second century."

Utility work within this initial phase will focus on replacing and upgrading the infrastructure near the northern end of Vancouver Barracks and include improvements to power, water, sewer and storm sewer systems. The construction of a new water main line will provide needed pressure and flow to meet fire suppression needs for the site. The remaining two double barracks will have a restored protective envelope with new roofs and repairs to gutters, decks, and exterior walls and paint.

This combined building renovation and utility project is scheduled to begin in spring 2015 and is consistent with the Vancouver Barracks Master Plan and Environmental Assessment established through public involvement in 2012.

Artist's representation of the proposed site plan for Vancouver Barracks, superimposed on an aerial photo.
The thoughtful planning and design of the renovation of the historic buildings at Fort Vancouver NHS creates a dynamic, sustainable public service campus where the history of the east and south barracks is celebrated. The road, sidewalk and trail networks will be reconfigured to create a welcoming and safe environment that easily guides visitors throughout the east and south barracks and encourages exploration of the Fort.

NPS Image

Aerial photograph of Barracks Row, with Barracks Building 987 at the left.
Aerial photograph of Barracks Row, with (left to right) Barracks Buildings 987, 989, 991, and 993.

NPS Photo

Aerial color photograph of portions of South Vancouver Barracks, showing (left to right) Buildings 400, 402, 404, and 405.
Aerial photograph of portions of South Vancouver Barracks, with (clockwise from bottom left) Buildings 400, 402, 404, and 405.

NPS Photo

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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