KITTERY – The U.S. Navy has requested $17.8 million to build new barracks on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard after the base’s prior housing was deemed substandard and eventually closed last year.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that the funding for the new living quarters would be for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s office said the proposed 39,000-square-foot building would house sailors at the base while their submarine is being worked on.

Before construction can begin, the project must first be authorized as well as having its funding secured. The bill is likely to start in the U.S. House’s Armed Services Committee before it’s passed along to the Senate’s Armed Services Committee.

Ayotte, a Republican, says she will continue to work with fellow senators to advocate for sailors.