By Ms. Chrystal Smith (IMCOM)August 17, 2010
WIESBADEN, Germany -- Towering yellow cranes and backhoes are holding the places of future trees and buildings and changing the overall quality of life as the Wiesbaden landscape transforms.
Multiple construction projects including demolition, neighborhood revitalization, renovation, regular maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and repairs abound in both the residential and operational areas of the military community.
The School-Age Center and the Army Lodge in Hainerberg Housing are the next projects on track for completion this fall amid the major transformation construction that will go through year 2013.
The new Hainerberg SAC facility will accommodate 105 children from 5-10 years old. It will include entrance, reception and administrative areas, staff lounge, work room, kitchen, snack area, child activity rooms, multipurpose activity room, janitor closet, general storage, supply rooms and a fenced outdoor play area with a shade structure.
The long-awaited Army Lodge at Hainerberg Housing is expected to be completed by late fall and is currently undergoing work to correct deficiencies identified during the final inspections. The $35-million facility is a four-story glass, steel and concrete hotel complex that will have 164 rooms - 64 standard, 92 family and eight extended stay rooms - and will assume the function of the American Arms Hotel.
"Once the deficiencies are corrected FMWR (Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation) will begin to install the furniture, and have it ready to open in about three months," said Roger Gerber, U.S. Army Garrison transformation stationing management officer. "The contractor has made a good-faith effort to fix the deficiencies over the past few weeks."
As projects are completed, the progression of others becomes more visible.
Cranes and bulldozers are in place and actively reshaping the terrain just beyond the southern entrance to Wiesbaden Army Airfield to construct 326 housing units in the space that was recently farm fields, military recreation fields and storage and the excavation site where Roman, Iron- and Bronze Age artifacts were unearthed. The housing project is on track to be completed by May 2012.
"It will be part of the overall Wiesbaden housing inventory, open to anybody assigned to the Wiesbaden community," said Gerber, who added that the project will showcase the excavation artifacts including signs and markings to identify discovery points.
Additional transformation activities comprise a host of projects in progress in the community's housing areas that consist of renovation of housing units to resize single units to enlarge living spaces.
"This was basically a facelift that right-sized housing units adding more bedrooms and enlarging kitchen and dining room areas. Buildings that previously were 18-unit facilities are now 12," said Gerber.
Also roof repair, exterior work, waterproofing of basement areas, repair and painting of stairwell common areas, construction of new playgrounds, light demolition work and electrical, heating and information technology line upgrades are the composite of other happenings in the residential areas.
"We understand it's a major disruption, and we are trying to minimize that by making every effort to provide information and hold town hall meetings to allow residents opportunities to give feedback," said Gerber. "Current quality-of-life repairs and upgrades to Army family housing in Hainerberg and Aukamm should be completed before Thanksgiving."
Driving through Hainerberg Housing, residents should also notice major construction underway at Wiesbaden High School. The current project includes the construction of a new gymnasium, a special curriculum area and a multipurpose room, including a cafeteria. Completion of the project is planned for the summer of 2012.
While the list is extensive, it is not exhaustive. Future large-scale projects to erect a Post Exchange and commissary are on the horizon. Details regarding the projects will be provided as the project start dates near. Stay informed on what's happening regarding transformation and construction in the community by logging on to the garrison's Transformation Update page at www.wiesbaden.army.mil/sites/directorates/transformation.asp.