Fort Gordon garrison and housing leadership held the quarterly housing town hall on March 11.
The virtual forum was an opportunity to update the community on information pertaining to housing on the installation since the last town hall, which was held Dec. 17.
Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Shaw Pick led the discussion. He was joined by Fort Gordon Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brent Smith and several Balfour Beatty Community staff.
Jim Ewing, Fort Gordon BBC project manager, began talks with an overview of topics that ranged from roof replacements to new construction. On the roofing side of the house, which began in late July, Ewing said inclement weather caused some delays, but remained positive that the project will finish in a reasonable time.
“We will finish up in Maglin Terrace first, and then from Maglin Terrace we’ll transition over to Olive Terrace, and then we’ve got a couple of units in Lakeview that we’re going to take care of after that,” Ewing said.
Plans to completely renovate 22 units in Maglin Terrace are also well underway, as are plans to begin a brand new housing development in the North Range Road vicinity. Ewing said he anticipates having all bids and necessary paperwork completed and submitted to the Army by the end of April, which would set up both projects to begin by this summer.
Referring to the 76 new homes being built, Ewing said, “Right now the projection is by the end of June/beginning of July, the dirt will start getting pushed, and then that will happen for four or five months, and while the grading work is going, simultaneously, we’ll start building, so you’ll see concrete going on the ground and houses going vertical very shortly after.”
Samantha Daher, community manager, Fort Gordon Family Homes, reminded the community that the main office is still closed for walk-ins, but that residents could call the office at 706-772-7041, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule an appointment. She also took a moment to thank community mayors and everyone who participated in the Tenant Satisfaction Survey – both of which help improve quality of living on Fort Gordon.
“If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your mayors,” Daher said, “and your mayors will notify us if it’s any question they cannot answer.”
Tom Rodriguez, facilities manager, gave updates that illustrated tremendous improvements in work order response and completion times along with near-flawless inspection rates. During the first quarter, more than 2,000 work orders were completed, and BBC is now at a “99 percent completion rate.”
“[This] means we’re staying current with everything that comes in the door each day, which is a huge milestone for us,” Rodriguez said.
Adding to the good news, he went on to say that the pass rate for “between occupancy maintenance” inspection was 100 percent for January and February, meaning “there were no life, health, safety issues in the home, and we’re giving a better quality home each time we’re turning them and moving things forward and in the right direction,” Rodriguez explained.
The turnaround time has also improved dramatically by decreasing from 36 days to less than seven.
“Before, the pass rate was not that good,” he said. “Now we’re taking less time, giving a better product, and people are getting in the homes in a reasonable amount of time.”
Touching on Fort Gordon policies related to housing, Smith emphasized the need to know and abide by them – specifically the pet policy.
“It’s very important that residents follow the pet policy,” Smith said. “All pets must be on a controlled leash – that means the leash is connected to your pet and controlled by the person walking with him.”
In summary, Pick said he has seen major improvements over the nine months he has been in command. He also encouraged the community to download and start using the Digital Garrison app, which is available to everyone.
“It’s an app that has great potential, but the only way to make it better is for people to use it and then give us feedback,” Pick said. “The Army owns the app, and we can code in new features … the best people to get that feedback from are customers who are using the app every day.”
Following remarks, the team answered questions posed by viewers through its live virtual platform. Several of the questions posed were in regards to construction around the installation, which Pick described as “good growing pains.”
“There might be some road closures and there might be some loud noises as we benefit from the $1.6 billion in military construction that the Army invested in Fort Gordon – only one of two installations in the Army that’s growing like that,” Pick said, referring to housing and other construction to include new facilities. “Just remember the reason it’s happening is because we’re getting a bunch of brand new stuff being built on Fort Gordon, and a lot of our old stuff is going to get torn down.”
Visit the Fort Gordon Facebook page for complete footage of the housing town hall.