Originally created 07/31/05

Fort Gordon housing needs discussed at open house



A small group of soldiers and their family members attended an open house July 20 to learn about the future of Army housing at Fort Gordon.

"I'd like to see things change a lot," said Melody Franz, who lives in Gordon Terrace on the post.

Representatives from GMH Military Housing were on hand to discuss the Residential Communities Initiative and how privatization of housing will affect families.

Over the next few years, GMH, Centex Construction and Benham Construction will be working on housing at Fort Gordon. There will be some new construction and renovations to older units.

GMH assumes operations of post housing in June, said Ron Hansen, the vice president of project development for the company.

"All existing homes will be touched in one way or the other. The first new homes will be built by August 2007," he said.

Some of the first changes likely are to be in the Gordon Terrace development, which is old and congested and lacks parking.

Preliminary plans are to remove some of the existing buildings and change the floor plans of the others. Some fourplexes may be changed into duplexes, and some duplexes could become single-family units.

Mr. Hansen also said there are plans for amenities such as playgrounds and spraygrounds, which are water parks with no swimming pools.

The spraygrounds have sprinklers and other water toys.

That idea appealed to Jamie Hiles.

"My son is 17 months old. He'd love it," she said. "He loves going outside."

The introductory meeting was a precursor to a series of focus groups scheduled for this week.

The focus groups will talk about specific floor plans in each of the housing areas and provide input on what is most important to families. Parking and storage have been big issues for families on post.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.