BAMBERG, Germany - As the needs of today's Soldiers grow and change to fit the ongoing mission, so must the environment around them.

In an effort to provide Soldiers with facilities commensurate with their service, U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg has begun renovations on its bachelor quarters, where officers and senior noncommissioned officers are housed. Improvements are currently planned for the bachelor quarters on Warner Barracks as well as on Muna and Geisfelder Strasse.

The renovations will begin with a barracks near the Bamberg Inn in mid-June and will include interior and exterior repairs and renovations.

The renovations will involve repairing and upgrading all ceilings, walls, electrical, mechanical, sanitary and heating systems to meet both German and U.S. building code standards.

The other bachelor quarters in this area have also been funded for renovations. Final designs should be completed by July with execution dates set at that time.

One barracks currently has 17 units and a communal kitchen. Each unit has two rooms, a bathroom and a walk-in closet with access to the bedroom gained through the bathroom. Although functional, the existing layout was not conducive to privacy. All cooking had to be done in the communal kitchen and one could not go to the bedroom from the living room if someone was using the bathroom.

Upon completion, the building will have 18 units. Each unit will have two rooms and a bathroom, but the walk-in closet will be removed providing space for a kitchenette and a small hallway.

The hallway will enable residents to travel from the bedroom to the living room/kitchen area without entering the bathroom. The exterior will get a facelift as well with a new coat of paint and any additional repairs to the structure deemed necessary.

"These changes, especially the kitchenettes, should greatly improve the quality of life and morale of these Soldiers," said David Thompson, Director of Public Works. "Soldiers occupying these units deserve fully functioning apartments with all the standard amenities at their disposal. I'm glad that funding was finally acquired to make it possible."

Repairs and renovations are also scheduled for two buildings at the Muna Installation. One project will include installation of kitchenettes in each apartment, conversion of shared bathrooms into individual bathrooms and miscellaneous interior and exterior repairs.

On two of the floors in the other barracks, four smaller apartments will be combined into a two larger ones with a bathroom and kitchenette in each, reducing the building capacity from 10 to six apartments.

There will also be miscellaneous interior and exterior repairs. The designs for these projects are being finalized.

Another project on Geisfelder Strasse awaits funding appropriations and will include primarily exterior repairs and improvements such as expanded enclosed parking for vehicles and improved landscaping for the common exterior areas.

"The sequencing of these projects over the next 12 to 18 months will be a challenge for our engineers and contractors and will negatively impact the availability of apartments during this time," said Thompson, "but when all the projects are complete, our goal of having bachelor quarters that soldiers want to live in will be achieved."