By Laura LeveringMarch 21, 2019
Fort Gordon command leadership held a town hall Feb. 28 in Alexander Hall. The event was part of an ongoing Army-wide effort to provide information, gain feedback from residents, and resolve issues in privatized housing and Army barracks.
Nearly 200 people attended the Town Hall, and more than 6,000 viewed the Facebook Live broadcast. Residents had an opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions in person and via Facebook.
Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Jim Clifford opened the town hall with an overview of housing on the installation and tentative future plans.
Fort Gordon has 1,080 homes managed by BBC and 59 barracks facilities with a capacity to house more than 7,000 Servicemembers. Currently, 976 of family housing units are occupied, and more than 6,100 Servicemembers live in barracks.
Leadership encouraged residents to be candid about their issues, emphasizing that there would be no repercussions for speaking up. And in return, leadership was transparent with their action plan.
"We are doing this so we can get the level of visibility that we need so we can put accountability in place," said Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison, commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon.
Residents voiced grievances that included widespread mold, electrical complications, incomplete work orders, poor HVAC performance, roof leaks, shoddy craftsmanship and various other issues.
Clifford made it clear that the command's priority is issues related to "life, health, and safety," adding that Garrison leadership, the Housing Services Office, and Balfour Beatty Communities (BBC) are conducting weekly meetings, pulling emergency work orders, and following up with residences.
"I'm hearing things about the duct work, black mold ... we are going to get after it very quickly, and then we're going to work our way through the other issues," Clifford said.
Residents who expressed issues affecting quality of life, health, and safety were asked to provide their information so that someone could provide a prompt and thorough resolution.
"We're trying to get to the root of the problem and get it fixed," Clifford said.
Residents with work orders not done to satisfaction or who have recurring problems were advised to contact BBC first, then their chain of command. Servicemembers living in barracks were advised to call the Barracks Service Order Desk at 706-791-5520. If problems go unresolved, they should contact their chain of command.
"Your chain of command is here to help," Morrison said. "Use the hotlines, use the housing office, make sure the issues are out on the table, and if you're not getting resolution, use your chain of command."
Residents who had unanswered questions or concerns after the event ended were asked to stay so they could give their information to appropriate officials.
"There is no problem bringing the problems to the forefront," Clifford said. "The more we know, the more we can get after them, and at the strategic level with what's going on across the Army, there are some things in place right now that will make our job a little better on the installation to get after some of the problems."
Feedback from the town hall and issues documented from home visits and inspections are being used to provide guidance to the community. By March 18, Army leaders should have visited all homes and barracks to assess the scale and scope of issues, then report results to their chains of command.
By May 14, the Army inspector general will complete an inspection at all installations with privatized housing.
There will be a follow-up town hall later this month and another in April. Information about those town halls will be disseminated as soon as dates are confirmed.