When Fort Douglas closes by early November, nearly 280 civilian workers and military personnel will leave the historic base above the University of Utah.
They will move to offices leased in downtown Salt Lake City, be sent out of state or lose their jobs, according to the final environmental impact statement on the closure, distributed Friday.Only 307 of the present 585 tenants will remain on federal property, the tiny plot of land to be kept by the government.
The final statement analyzes the effects of the planned transfer of 51 acres to the University of Utah to be used as a research and teaching facility.
After the fort closes, the remaining military presence will be on the southern 68 acres retained by the federal government. The Fort Douglas Reserve Center will be used by reserve units for training, recruiting, assembly and storage.
Nine units with non-reserve functions will be relocated to leased facilities downtown.
When the fort was opened in 1862 under orders of President Abraham Lincoln, the garrison was charged with protecting the Overland Mail route from threatening bands of Indians. In December 1988, Fort Douglas was among 145 military installations nationwide that the Defense Secretary's Commission on Base Realignment and Closure recommended should be sold or reorganized.
The commission said it should be closed because operational flexibility there is severely limited by its smallness, its location (sandwiched between the University of Utah and other properties) and the fact that many of its buildings are part of a National Historic Landmark.
The transfer to the university is contingent upon its use for educational and research purposes.
Altogether, 37 jobs at Fort Douglas will be eliminated, three military and 34 civilian positions. Another 85 military and 156 civilian positions will be transferred away.
Once the fort is closed, the statement says, just 187 military positions and 120 civilian positions will remain at the reserve center.
Those transferred will be sent to:
- Fort Carson, Colo., one military, 77 civilian jobs.
- Tooele Army Depot, Tooele: 11 military positions.
- Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Denver, one military position.
- Leased offices in Salt Lake City, 72 military and 79 civilian positions.