FORT KNOX — The new year will be busy for Fort Knox under the Army's base realignment, as a sprawling new human resources complex is expected to open its doors.
Planners expect about 1,400 new jobs to be created through the latest round of the Base Realignment and Closure initiative that was introduced in 2005.
"The transformation of Fort Knox will be most evident in 2010 as the majority of our new units and organizations move here," Col. Rick Schwartz said in a statement. "I refer to (2010) as our big inhale, as we grow with new commands and continue to be the home for most of the Armor School for another year."
The Human Resource Center of Excellence is 90 percent complete, with carpet and drywall work still left to be done, according to the Army. It is scheduled to open in the summer. Human Resources and Accessions Command workers will arrive next year from Virginia, Missouri and Indiana.
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The 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, which has about 3,400 personnel, will be at full strength by spring, The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown reported. More than 75 percent of the troops have arrived at Fort Knox and construction related to the brigade is finished.
The regional population is expected to increase by 11,500 because of the realignment, military officials have said.
It isn't known how many current workers will move to the post with their jobs. But "jobs will come whether the people come or not," said Conrad Curry, a spokesman for One Knox, a group formed by business and government leaders to support the realignment.
Curry said job openings will be advertised between now and summer, but he doesn't know when the Army will fill the positions — mostly human resources and information technology jobs.
The population growth at Fort Knox will likely boost local business, with more consumers around to buy groceries and shop at the mall.
"It has been a shot in the arm already, and it should continue to be," Curry said.