FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) - Mission accomplished! One of the largest military construction projects in the U.S. has finished on time and target at Fort Lee.
"Now all of the construction equipment is gone and the hard work, you can see the fruits of that labor done over the years," said Fort Lee Spokesperson, Keith Desbois.
Two ceremonies were held on Thursday to mark the completion of the billion dollar project. Thursday also marked the deadline date for the completion of the massive makeover.
In four years the post has added 56 new buildings.
"All of this provides greater benefits to the army overall in the learning and training of soldiers," said Debois.
The population at the post has doubled to more than 44,000 and the economic impact has grown from $860 million in 2003 to a projected $1.7 billion in 2013.
"We brought a lot of employees to Fort Lee in order to staff positions made available, so you're looking at income. Also, you're looking at a lot more people shopping in the community and spending money out there," said Desbois.
The expansion is part of the nation's 2005 base realignment. The largest single project under the initiative is the Ordnance School. It consists of 30 of the new 56 buildings at Fort Lee.
"We train soldiers here to repair equipment in the field, everything from trucks to artillery pieces," said Colonel Clark Lemasters.
Now that the BRAC expansion is finished, nearly 70,000 students from all five military branches will train at the post annually.