• Eisenhower Hall reopens

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  • After a massive renovation project that began last year, Fort Leavenworth’s Eisenhower Hall reopened June 21 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
    Improvements to the hall, built in 1994, included 40 upgraded classrooms with Army Classroom XXI standards that provide state-of-the-art multi-media capabilities, a new conference center and renovated DePuy Auditorium, and upgraded heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and power grid.
    The $38-million project also included extensive renovations to the hall’s adjoining neighbor, the Combined Arms Research Library, which officially opened last month. Eisenhower Hall also is home to the Army’s School for Command Preparation, the Army Management Staff College and the Army Wellness Center.
    In all, over the course of six years, five buildings were renovated for a total cost of $80 million, said ceremony keynote speaker Jeff LaMoe, chief of staff of the Combined Arms Center, Leader Development and Education. He welcomed those attending the ceremony to tour Eisenhower Hall and CARL.
    “As you will soon see, this project is tangible evidence of the Army’s commitment to professional military education,” LaMoe said. “And it also demonstrates the teamwork and planning we seek to develop in leaders.”
    CARL was recognized in 2007 by the Library of Congress as “the best large library in the federal system,” LaMoe said, with its collection of more than 320,000 volumes, professional journals, historical documents and video materials.
    “CARL has truly transformed from merely a passive repository of printed material to an active, network-centric, digitally-enabled, and user-friendly institution, responsive not only to the needs of local users, but to users around the globe,” he said.
    For 26 years, the School for Command Preparation has developed colonels, lieutenant colonels and command sergeants major to lead brigade and battalion command teams, LaMoe said, adding that Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno recently approved extending the length of both brigade and battalion pre-command courses from one to two weeks beginning in August.
    “The additional time will enable students to assess their command operating environment and reflect upon their unique roles and responsibilities as command team members — to serve their organizations as leaders of character that exercise mission command,” LaMoe said.
    AMSC educates and prepares the Army Civilian Corps for leadership and management responsibilities throughout the Army and serves as the executive agent for the Army civilian education system, LaMoe said.
    The Army Wellness Center is a program of the Army Medical Command that promotes soldier readiness and patient-centered home initiatives to prevent or mitigate chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, LaMoe said. It offers metabolic testing, exercise testing, stress management and biofeedback, and weight management education.
    Eisenhower Hall also features a new exhibit in its atrium provided by the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kan. The exhibit, titled “Ike: The Education of a Soldier - Statesman,” examines Eisenhower’s education from his day at Lincoln elementary in Abilene through high school, West Point, the Command and General Staff College, Army War College and Army Industrial College.
    Page 2 of 2 - In particular, the exhibition stresses the importance of how well Eisenhower’s military education at the Army schools prepared him for the challenges of his times.
    LaMoe and Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Commander Lt. Gen. David Perkins presented a Department of the Army Commander’s Award for Public Service to Tim Rives, deputy director of the Eisenhower Library, and William Snyder, library curator, both of who developed the display.
    After the ceremony, both men said they were surprised by the gesture. They also said they learned a lot about Eisenhower when working on the display.
    “I’ve been at the library for five years,” Rives said. “This was the first time I really looked at his military education, not just at West Point but here at the Command and General Staff College, the Army War College, the Army Industrial College and then his role in the National War College and the NATO Defense College. So Eisenhower really evolved professional military education. I have a much better awareness of that now.”
    In closing remarks, Perkins said Eisenhower built great teams and believed that history did not trust liberty and freedom to the timid and the weak.
    “That’s what we do here at Fort Leavenworth,” Perkins said. “We train, educate and prepare leaders, both civilian and military, to be strong and to be bold because that’s what leadership takes.”
    Regarding Eisenhower, he added that, “It’s very appropriate that his name, his legacy is on this facility.”
    Kyle Hutchison, a health promotions technician for the Army Wellness Center, said the agency was pleased with its move back into Eisenhower Hall.
    “We have so much more space here,” he said. “We’re on one level, whereas before we were on two.”
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