Bragg Cuts Ribbon on Model Apartment for Single Soldiers
May 8, 2008
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, May 7, 2008) -- When the ribbons fell to the ground Wednesday outside the model privatized apartment at Fort Bragg, it marked the beginning of a new way to house single Soldiers.
"The quality of life of the Soldiers who will occupy these barracks will be extraordinary compared to any (apartments) you will see on the outside in private sectors," said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, who attended the ceremony.
The Randolph Pointe community is scheduled to open in early 2009, featuring 312 one- and two-bedroom apartment homes for single or unaccompanied officers and senior noncommissioned officers. Soldiers interested in leasing the apartments will now be able to tour the model.
Randolph Pointe is part of a pilot program approved in August 2007 by the secretary of the Army and Congress to assess the benefits of privatizing single Soldier housing. Fort Bragg is one of five Army posts chosen to participate in the pilot program. The others are Fort Irwin, Calf.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Stewart, Ga., and Fort Bliss, Texas.
"It's remarkable," Geren said about Randolph Pointe. "The apartments are as nice as (the ones) you can find on the outside with all the amenities ... large bedrooms, nice closets and bathrooms ... very nice facilities. Here at Fort Bragg we already see a partnership with Family housing. With this initiative we have transformed Army housing into Army homes and Army neighborhoods and made a real difference in the quality of life for Soldiers ... The quality of life they deserve."
The Randolph Pointe community boasts numerous luxury apartment amenities, including lockable master bedroom suites with private bathrooms, personal climate controls, walk-in closets, a full-size kitchen with breakfast bar and dining area, a roomy living room, modern appliances, a full-size washer and dryer, an optional garage and an optional patio or balcony with exterior storage.
John G. Picerne, president and chief executive officer of Picerne Military Housing also attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and toured the model with Geren.
"Our single Soldiers are as deserving of high-quality homes as our Army Families," Picerne said. "The success of Randolph Pointe and the growth of our partnership with Fort Bragg is bringing us one step closer to improving housing and the quality of life for all Soldiers."
Rent rates will be standard based on floor plan features and will include all utilities, appliances and 24-hour maintenance. Rates may allow some Soldiers to pocket a portion of their basic allowance for housing.
Residents at Randolph Pointe will enjoy access to the wifi-wired clubhouse and numerous high-tech offerings, such as a video gaming room, lounge with widescreen television, state-of-the-art weight lifting equipment, cardio room with personal televisions, business center, multi-purpose room with video conferencing technology, sand volleyball courts, a horseshoe pit and resort-style swimming pool.
Five-percent of Randolph Pointe apartments will meet handicap accessible requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act and will therefore be eligible to house Wounded Warriors and other qualifying members of Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion.
Randolph Pointe is a pilot program approved in August 2007 by the secretary of the Army and Congress to assess the benefits of privatizing single Soldier housing.
Geren said efforts have been underway for many years, since the 90s, to transform Soldier housing. He described the privatization of family housing under the Residential Communities Initiative as "radical transformation of housing."
"It's been a major step forward in a direction that helps us meet the needs of our single Soldiers and this will (help) shape how we do Army housing in the future," he said.
Soldiers who attended the ceremony had a chance to tour the model and many like Sgt. Elaine Rodriguez, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, XVIII Airborne Corps, said she couldn't wait to move in once the homes are completed.
"I love it and I think this is a real good option for Soldiers who are E6 and above," said Rodriguez and added that this project was something that should have been done a long time ago. "This will definitely boost a lot of Soldiers' morale."
(Lucille Anne Newman writes for the Paraglide newspaper at Fort Bragg, N.C.)