By Vince Little, The BayonetFebruary 23, 2011
FORT BENNING, Ga. - A housing area on Main Post for enlisted Soldiers, junior noncommissioned officers and their families that dates back half a century is getting a hefty overhaul.
All 414 units at Indianhead Village - 282 town homes and 132 single-story duplexes - are being thoroughly refurbished in a project scheduled for completion by mid-2012, said Mike Douglass, development executive for Clark Realty Capital, the developer and builder for Fort Benning Family Communities LLC. Work began last February.
Each home is being stripped down to its concrete and wood foundation.
"We're starting over from that point," he said. "Everything else is being replaced, including all the plumbing and pipes. They're getting new interiors and several floor plan improvements. We're vastly improving the kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. It'll essentially be a brand new home when completed.
"These houses are over 50 years old. It was not only the state of the homes that needed improvement, but the homes needed to be adjusted to fit the way people live today. That's the reason for some of the floor plan changes we've made."
The majority of Indianhead's town homes and duplexes have four bedrooms, Douglass said. The average town home's heated square footage is increasing from 1,200 to 1,230. As much as 30 square feet was added to the interior storage space of many Indianhead homes by capturing areas previously used for mechanical equipment.
He said Fort Benning's Department of Public Works is renovating the storm drain and Columbus Water Works is renovating the water and sanitary sewer systems. Cable TV, telecommunications and electrical jacks also are being placed in more convenient locations.
The new Indianhead Village units are all ENERGY STAR-certified, a design aimed at protecting the environment through enhanced energy efficiency. The homes operate on at least 15 percent less energy than before and feature modernized kitchens with new energy-efficient appliances.
He said the bottom floors of each town home and duplex are configured as a "great room," which combines the new kitchens, dining areas and living rooms into an open-floor plan. Every yard will include a privacy fence and new landscaping, while additional storage is being added to each residence.
Fort Benning Family Communities has renovated about 150 town homes so far and families now occupy most.
Gone from Indianhead Village will be that old-style, institutional appearance, Douglass said.
"The units all look different now. We worked hard to give each home its own personality (and) distinct style," he said. "Before, they were a dull, yellow color and all looked exactly alike. These homes have different colors.
"Our goal is for the Soldiers and their families to feel like it's a home, instead of just a house. It's energy-efficient, clean and configured the way people live today."
Indianhead Village also will receive a swimming pool and 6,000-square-foot Village Center, across from Wilson Elementary School. Douglass said it's the equivalent of a clubhouse in a luxury apartment complex. Both are slated to open this summer.
"The improved Indianhead Village is a great choice for the proximity to Fort Benning's neighborhood schools, the new Village Center, pool and various amenities," he said. "Families new to Fort Benning are quickly making the improved Indianhead Village home."