First new homes ready in December

SUSANNE KAPPLER, Fort Jackson Leader

One year after the groundbreaking ceremony for new housing on Fort Jackson, the first group of new homes will be completed in December. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3, will mark the completion of some homes for junior enlisted Soldiers and their families, said Emma Watson, Residential Communities Initiatives director.

Watson explained that homes for Soldiers of all ranks will be completed gradually, with the last homes of Phase One expected to be finished in July.

Aca,!A"We have some visible construction Aca,!"Aca,!" frames, slabs and some homes up Aca,!"Aca,!" in every area except senior enlisted and field grade (officers),Aca,!A? she said.

Watson said that although construction is not visible in those areas, preparatory site work is under way.

In addition to housing for junior enlisted Soldiers, homes for senior officers, as well as the community center on Brown Avenue, are also scheduled to be finished in December.

Aca,!A"We think the community center is going to be a really big attraction for the families,Aca,!A? said James Harper, Balfour Beatty Communities project director.

The community center will be a dual-service building, he explained. One third of the building will house Balfour Beatty Communities offices, and the remainder will be available for use by residents. The center will feature a fully furnished great room and adjacent kitchen, which can be booked for parties or other gatherings. Other areas include a smaller meeting room, a computer center equipped with four computer stations and a fully-equipped television and game room.

The area outside of the community center will feature a boundless playground, which can be used by children with or without special needs.

Aca,!A"Fort Jackson will be the third (Army) installation that has a boundless playground,Aca,!A? Harper said. Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs designed so that all children can safely play on that playground.Aca,!A?

Other outside amenities include a basketball court, tennis court, volleyball court, a multi-purpose sports field with bleachers and a gazebo.

Watson said she is happy to see the first houses nearing completion, especially since the project was delayed four months, mainly because of asbestos abatement.

Aca,!A"Until we had sticks on the ground, you kind of had that feeling, Aca,!EoeWhen are we going to get started'Aca,!a,,cAca,!A? she said. Aca,!A"It was delay after delay, no matter how much we went to the table and tried to have the best-laid plans. There was always something that caused a delay that was really beyond our control. So to see sticks on the ground and to see progress and see townhouses and duplexes and single houses ... and to see houses that are very comparable to what you see off post is a plus. IAca,!a,,cm really pleased to see it.Aca,!A?

As Phase One nears completion, plans are in the works for Phase Two of the project. Currently, more than 160 families reside in the housing scheduled for demolition during the next phase.

Aca,!A"Families who will be here for less than 90 days (after their scheduled moving date) will be allowed to remain in their houses,Aca,!A? Watson said. Aca,!A"Families outside that window Aca,!"Aca,!" case by case Aca,!"Aca,!" will be required to relocate. The plan is, when new construction comes on line, for instance in the December timeframe, all of those families residing in Phase Two we will start moving into (newly constructed) Phase One (homes).Aca,!A?

Harper said that moving costs will be paid by Balfour Beatty Communities and that residents are eligible to be reimbursed for re-establishing telephone, cable and internet connections.

PROJECTED MOVING TIMELINES

December-July: 127 homes for junior enlisted Soldiers will be completed.
December: Eight homes for senior officers will be completed.
January-February: 13 homes for company grade officers will be completed.
March-June: 47 homes for senior noncommissioned officers will be completed.
June-July: 13 homes for field grade officers will be completed.

Page last updated Thu October 1st, 2009 at 07:58