Pentagon plans nearly $500 million in Guantánamo construction | Miami Herald

Pentagon plans nearly $500 million in Guantánamo construction | Miami Herald

The proposed up-to $100 million migrant camp project is a bit mysterious.

In 2007, the Bush administration invested $17 million in preparing empty fields on the leeward side of the base, not far from Guantánamo’s lone functioning airfield, for a series of pop-up tent cities capable of housing 30,000 migrants. A northern Florida contractor, Islands Mechanical, leveled fields, built cement-block bathhouses and set up sewage treatment capacity. The Navy spent another $6 million on a firm to scavenge the area for unexploded ordinance at abandoned firing ranges nearby.

Now the Navy is soliciting bids for work on the same site to include demolition of certain structures, addition of concrete slabs for field kitchens, dumpsters and a new headquarters building. A public-address system atop utility poles is also to be added for a population of up to 13,000 migrants and a potential staff of 5,000 U.S. forces. The migrants, according to design plans released with the $25 million to $100 million project solicitation, are to be housed in five pop-up tent cities and a 900-person medical unit.

Southcom spokesman Army Maj. Vance Trenkel said the site would be accessible to people with disabilities and have a “minimum life of 50 years.” The Navy said it was handling the bid process for Southcom but could not explain why, if Congress appropriated $33 million for the project in its 2017 budget, the solicitation exceeded funding by $67 million.

via Pentagon plans nearly $500 million in Guantánamo construction | Miami Herald