FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Picerne Military Housing staff celebrated the grand opening of their second neighborhood center July 29.

Post leaders and residents recognized the Bowden Terrace Neighborhood Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony and facility tour.

Residents have visited the facility, located at 9700 Division Road, since its soft opening July 4, said Emily Natalio, Picerne communications specialist. The fishing lodge-themed dAfAcor evokes a casual, outdoors atmosphere.

Maj. Gen. James O. Barclay III, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, said Picerne's ongoing neighborhood upgrades make a difference in residents' lives and happiness.

"It makes Fort Rucker a place people want to come to, live (at) and enjoy," he said.

Other installation leaders agreed.

"This neighborhood center is just one of many improvements on Fort Rucker for (Soldiers' and Families') quality of life," said Col. James Muskopf, garrison commander.

The 7,200 square foot building follows the opening of the Allen Heights Neighborhood Center last summer. The facility features include an outdoor pool and splash park, game room, full kitchen, meeting rooms, fitness room, children's play area and more, Natalio said.

"The center is the heart and soul of each individual neighborhood. It exemplifies and embodies what we refer to as 'Families First,'" said Heath Burleson, Picerne program director. "(Our motto) means us doing everything we can to ensure we're doing the best for Soldiers and Families."

Four Bowden Terrace residents helped officials during the ribbon cutting ceremony, and said they were grateful for the new community resource.

"It's good (Picerne staff) is doing things to get the community involved," said CW3 Jon Harris. "It offers us extra facilities."

His wife, Kim, said she brings their daughters, Madisyn, 7, and Payton, 5, to the neighborhood center frequently.

"The girls love the pool. They're in the pool every day," Kim said.

During the facility design process, staff incorporated a few changes based on residents' feedback about other Picerne centers around the country, Natalio noted.

The computer lab features Web cams and online voice call software, enabling residents to talk to friends and Families far away.

The Bowden game room is "more interactive" than the Allen Heights one, she said, with three game consoles and other activities for Families to enjoy.

Amenities also include a laundry room for residents whose washers and dryers are out of commission or in transit due to a recent move. Each wash or dry cycle costs 75 cents.

Neighborhood Center hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Pool hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. Each Family may bring up to two guests to the pool, Natalio noted. Facilities are open to all on-post residents.

Picerne's third and final neighborhood center here is slated to open in late spring 2011, and will be located off Red Cloud Road in Munson Heights, Natalio said.

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