<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> - Guests who have stayed often in Army Lodging at Fort Stewart over the years have a word for newly renovated building 4950:


That was not among the words used to describe the three-story building before a $7.9 million, 18-month renovation project transformed it into a warm, more modern and welcoming facility on Coe Avenue.

"The building didn't meet Army Lodging standards," said Connie Parks, Lodging manager for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield. "Our Soldiers deserve this renovation."

The phased-in renovation work at what once was a bachelor officers quarters was done one wing at a time, so badly needed rooms in the other two wings would be available for Soldiers and their Families. The work began in mid-October 2008 and was completed in late April of this year.

Two major additions are a sprinkler system and an elevator.

Crews from Stellar Construction in Jacksonville gutted each of the 99 rooms of building 4950, which was built in 1977.

Cinderblock walls now have sheetrock, painted with warm, inviting colors and graced with scenes of nearby Savannah. Once-exposed conduits are inside the walls. The bathrooms are new. New kitchenettes were installed. Hallways were enclosed and now are air-conditioned. There's a new laundry room. The building is wired for Wi-Fi. All-new furniture and fixtures were added at a cost $780,000.

"Our rooms have a kitchen sink, a cooktop, a refrigerator, cabinets and a microwave," Parks said. "A part of the Army Lodging standard is to provide pots and pans, and our rooms have a full complement of kitchen items, including microwave cookware."

What once served as a day room on the first floor became a continental breakfast area.

"That made our continental breakfast area compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act," Parks said, adding that the breakfast area previously was on the second floor of another building. "That made it difficult for our Soldiers who couldn't walk stairs."

The breakfast area is near the building entrance, where a new storefront, automated door welcomes guests.

The average stay at Army Lodging on Fort Stewart is about two weeks to a month.
Some building 4950 guests are Soldiers from the Warrior Transition Unit and their length of stay could vary between a month to a year or longer, she said.

For Warriors and other guests coping with physical challenges, building 4950 now offers six ADA-compliant rooms.

Prior to the renovation, there were none in this building. This brings the total ADA rooms to nine on Fort Stewart.

"(The renovation) was money well spent, Parks said. "It needed to happen. The reason we are here, is to take care of Soldiers and Family Members."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16