Fort McCoy will open its first permanent barracks’ structure later this month. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week at the Army base near Sparta for a six-point-eight million dollar housing facility. The new brick building is the first of many that will replace smaller, temporary barracks built 70 years ago during World War Two. The new building will house up to 168 soldiers, way more than the 50 in each of the current barracks. Liane Haun, the fort’s chief of master planning, says it will provide a better quality-of-life for the soldiers, while saving taxpayers’ money by being energy efficient. Among other things, the new barracks have modern bathrooms with individual showers, an Internet café, an activity room, and facilities that can separate groups of personnel by units or gender. And those who train at McCoy in the summer will have something their barracks have never had before – air conditioning.