Editor’s note: Serving as a guest columnist, Eryk Hayden, a housing management specialist, is giving us an inside look at the renovations within the Rim Rock community on Fort Riley’s Historic Main Post.
Rim Rock Resurrected
By Eryk Hayden
Fort RIley Housing Services
The Rim Rock neighborhood is preparing to return the first of the newly remodeled homes into the Fort Riley family housing inventory. Previously the four buildings consisting of 32 homes in the Rim Rock neighborhood were scheduled to be demolished. The neighborhood homes were built in the 1950s with very minor upgrades since then. The homes were not just dealing with old age, they were becoming a victim of growth and expansion of the installation. Through direct funding from the Corvias Solutions Investment, this is changing.
The Rim Rock neighborhood was originally a multi-family building, similar to a townhome construction consisting of eight, two-bedroom and one bathroom homes. The homes had not received much attention through the years other than normal maintenance and fresh paint. The homes were cold and small. There was only 1 bathroom in each home. The bathroom was located on the second floor so guests had to go up-stairs. There were shared mechanicals, such as the home electrical breaker box and water heater, which was not only inconvenient but also not allowed by current building codes. Through the expansion of the Installation, the homes were downhill of a new road and parking lot. This inadvertently diverted stormwater toward the homes. In time, some resident’s basements would flood with heavy rains due to the rain runoff. Overall, the homes were no longer desirable by our residents and it was time for a change.
The changes to the Rim Rock homes are immediate as you pull up to them. The curb appeal is eye-catching. The Corvias team started with trimming the trees, which allows the sunlight through, promoting grass growth. The sidewalks were reconfigured. Instead of having one long sidewalk that runs the length of the
building, they are separated giving you the feeling that it is your sidewalk as you approach your front door. Though Rim Rock is not considered historic homes, Corvias did a wonderful job keeping the historic viewshed of the neighborhood. The exterior doors have the same look as before with new insulated storm doors and the old mail slot attached. The windows are updated as well, and they were able to keep the look of the original windows. New roofs have also been installed. The backyard now includes a privacy fence divider between the homes and a larger patio deck, which promotes outdoor gatherings.
As you enter the home you see the beautiful wood floors that have been refinished. The interior of the home has been completely remodeled and painted to a more modern paint pallet. These changes alone have removed an estimated total of 85% of the lead-based paint from the interior. The lighting throughout has been upgraded to LED light fixtures. It has a new Smart thermostat that controls the temperature in the home. As you enter the kitchen it has new appliances, cabinets, and countertops, giving it a modern feel. Throughout the house, there are new low-flow water fixtures. As you walk upstairs, there is now a full-length handrail, providing an extra bit of safety that was not there before. At the top of the stairs, you enter into the full bathroom that has completely been remodeled. The bedrooms have new carpet as well. The window blinds throughout the house are a cordless style, which removes the cord hazard to smaller children. Previously, the home had a small non-conforming room located next to the second bedroom. The design team has turned those two rooms into a true master suite, giving the residents another bathroom in the home. As you venture back downstairs and head to the basement, you will see the major changes to the home that often get overlooked. Each home has its own electrical panel box and water heater. They completely ran new electrical lines and plumbing lines throughout the home. There are upgraded washer and dryer hook-up, along with a new dryer vent pipe and water drainage for the washer. In the basement, you also see the lifeline of the fire sprinkler system, which you are able to see throughout the home. This is a new requirement. What you cannot see is the insulation that is in the walls and ceilings, previously the walls were not insulated.
All in all, what the Installation will have is 32 homes, that are now potentially 40% more energy-efficient than before. The homes are not just cosmetically appealing to the resident, they are also safer for them as well. They still maintain the historic look of that period but have the modern amenities that family’s desire. The Rim Rock neighborhood are now homes, that a small, new family would want to live in.