WIESBADEN, Germany - Change is coming to the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in the form of big projects with big price tags.

Through the summer of 2012 the Transformation Stationing Management Office will be overseeing more than 150 construction projects intended to transform the garrison at a cost of more than $300 million.

"Wiesbaden is an enduring installation that needs new and renovated operational, housing and community support facilities to support the units and organizations assigned here," said Roger Gerber, the garrison's transformation and stationing officer.

As the U.S. military continues its reduction of troops stationed in Europe, American military bases are being consolidated.

The 5th Signal Command is currently moving from Mannheim to Wiesbaden, and the move will be completed by summer 2010.

The next notable phase of transformation for the garrison follows the 1st Armored Division's redeployment when the unit's headquarters will relocate to Fort Bliss, Texas.

Consolidation of the 7th Army headquarters and command aviation is expected to be the final phase of the Wiesbaden transformation.

Upgrades to community support facilities and housing, construction of new buildings and major renovations for operational facilities and overall improvements to infrastructure are underway as the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden is planned to support 3,200 military members, 3,300 civilian government and contract personnel plus their families.

Upgrades include:

Wiesbaden Army Lodge
Cost: $32 million

The new 164-room hotel complex on Mississippi Strasse is within walking distance of the commissary, Hainerberg Shopping Center and the new Wiesbaden Entertainment Center. Slated to open this winter, the four-story Army lodge will offer a fitness room, guest laundry areas on each floor and 92 family suites with separate bedrooms and kitchenettes. The new hotel will replace the existing American Arms Hotel in downtown Wiesbaden - used by the U.S. military since the 1950s to house visitors and PCSing Soldiers and their families.

Wiesbaden Entertainment Center
Cost: $8.8 million

Next door to the lodge is the new 27,000-square-foot entertainment center which is expected to open in spring 2010. The state-of-the-art facility includes a 16-lane bowling alley, a restaurant, multi-purpose rooms for meetings and parties, a video game area and a Java Cafe. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District commander, Col. John Kem, called the center a "one-stop amusement zone."

New WAAF Housing
Cost: $133 million

Up to 324 townhouses, duplexes and single-family homes will be erected on 101 acres on the southern edge of the Wiesbaden Army Airfield. The housing units - a combination of single houses, duplexes and townhouses - will be the first Army-funded townhouse community in Wiesbaden. Work will begin on the new housing area roads and infrastructure in September. Vertical construction on the new housing is slated to begin in spring 2010.
New Child Development Center in Hainerberg
Cost: $5 million

Funded as part of the Army Family Covenant initiative, the Hainerberg Child Development Center is one of four new CDCs to be constructed from the AFC funding in Europe.

Construction of the new Hainerberg CDC will begin this fall. The facility will be able to accommodate 105 children ages 10 and younger.

The new CDC will be built between the Wiesbaden Teen Center and the Hainerberg Chapel.

Other projects include:
A $5.18 million multipurpose center for the Hainerberg Elementary and Middle Schools will be completed in March 2010.

A new ball field on the north side of Wiesbaden Army Airfield will soon be ready for play.

Various renovation projects throughout the Wiesbaden housing areas will add up to about $50 million in improvements. The improvements are part of the Army's push to eliminate inadequate family housing in Europe.

For more on transformation in Wiesbaden and the latest impacts of ongoing construction and renovation work, visit the garrison's home page at www.wiesbaden.army.mil and click on the Transformation Update link (bottom right). (Compiled by Jennifer Clampet and Roger Gerber)