Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today helped secure the approval of $192 million from the House Appropriations Committee for the construction of new cadet barracks at West Point. The funds were included as part of the House version of the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill. President Obama requested the funds in his budget proposal to Congress and Hinchey, who is a member of the West Point Board of Visitors, helped ensure the money was included in the actual bill.
"I am very happy that I was able to help secure this critical funding that will help solve longstanding cadet housing problems at West Point," Hinchey said. "Our nation's Army cadets have been forced to live in overcrowded and substandard barracks for far too long. Such poor living conditions present a variety of challenges for cadets, including the interfering with the students' ability to study, rest, and sleep properly, which are critical to our future leaders' ability to thrive and meet all of the rigorous challenges at West Point. This is a need that has gone unmet by Congress for decades, and I'm pleased that we're finally moving forward with a plan to provide adequate housing at the academy."
President Obama's request for funding to construct barracks at West Point represented the first time in 40 years that a president's budget proposal included additional funding for barrack construction at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Cadets at the military academy currently suffer from severe overcrowding. While other prestigious U.S. service academies, as well as private colleges and universities, have significantly newer student housing, 40 percent of the rooms at West Point that were built to accommodate two students are occupied by three.
The funds will pay for the construction of historical-style barracks that will house 650 West Point cadets. The barracks will provide better living conditions at West Point, which has 4,400 cadets overall and ultimately improve retention, morale, and quality of life.
Now that the House Appropriations Committee has approved the Fiscal Year 2013 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies appropriations bill that contains the funding for the West Point barracks, the measure now moves to the full House.