Housing draws praise at town hall
February 11, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Members of the Fort Jackson community met at the Solomon Center Tuesday for the installation's quarterly town hall meeting. As during recent meetings, on-post housing was the center of interest for many in attendance.
James Harper, Balfour Beatty Communities project director, announced that the ongoing construction will force the temporary closure of parts of Imboden Street. The road will be closed between Mills Road and Faison Court. The starting date and duration of the closure depends on weather conditions. Residents can access Imboden Street via Brown Avenue. Harper said that the school bus stop on Burt Road will not be affected by the closure.
Harper added that construction is on target with the projected timeline and that new homes are being turned over to residents on a consistent basis.
On-post residents expressed their satisfaction with the completion of the first new homes earlier this year.
"(The house is) beautiful. It is enjoyable. It's open. We are enjoying it so much," said Tiffany Moss about the new home her family of seven recently moved into. "We like to be in a handicapped-accessible house for one of our children, who (has) special needs. It is so wonderful to know that he is safe."
Karen Padgett, community manager with Balfour Beatty Communities, said the new Community Center has become a popular spot for residents.
"Everybody is really enjoying it," she said. "It is packed in the evenings."
To increase the on-post occupancy rate, homes are now available to DoD civilians and military retirees, Padgett said. The new houses are reserved for service members only, though.
Other items discussed were:
- Parents raised concerns about incidents of inappropriate conduct in on-post schools. School officials said the problem was being addressed. Col. Lillian Dixon, garrison commander, met with the parents after the town hall meeting. The school superintendent and principal will engage in follow-on meetings with parents.
- Army Community Services introduced its New Parent Support Program, which is designed for parents of children younger than 3.
- AAFES plans to upgrade several of its facilities this year. The food court at the Main Post Exchange will be expanded to allow room for 490 diners. The current capacity is 288. In response to a question from a previous town hall meeting, Jason Rosenberg, general manager, explained that the Post Theater can be booked for private events including fewer than 60 people, but only on posted opening days. Also, the theater will remain open to the public, but a section can be reserved.
- An operational security briefing outlined the importance of OPSEC not only for Soldiers, but also for family members.
The next town hall meeting is scheduled for May 4, 6 p.m. at the Post Theater.