(Featured photo is of the site where 76 new townhomes will be built at Fort Eisenhower. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News)
Ground has been cleared near Fort Eisenhower’s Gate 5 to make way for 76 new townhomes for junior enlisted servicemembers.
“This is the beginning of a multiyear development plan for modernizing and transforming housing at Fort Eisenhower,” said Col. Reginald Evans, garrison commander, at a ceremonial groundbreaking Oct. 31.
Called Pine Tree Terrace, the development will feature three- and four-bedroom homes including four ADA accessible units. They will have modern floor plans and modern amenities.
Evans said more than 70% of the on-post housing is more than 45 years old, and this is the first construction on that side of the installation in 15 years.
Balfour Beatty Communities, which oversees the military housing, has come under fire over the past few years for poor housing conditions, including mold, and for not responding to requests for maintenance according to previous press reports.
In 2022 Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) led a bipartisan inquiry into the issues regarding military housing, and in April 2023, a Senate oversight committee held hearings concerning the problems.
In his remarks Tuesday, Evans acknowledged past problems but expressed hope.
“I acknowledge the last couple of years BBC has been under justifiable scrutiny. It’s been some tough years, but I also applaud their efforts and commitment to making sweeping staffing adjustments and program added changes to effect change for this installation for our service members,” he said. “There’s a lot more work to do. They have a lot more work to do as do we, but I’ll tell you today we are committed to locking arms and making those changes so we can have more days like today.”
Chuck Parker, executive vice president of military housing operations for Balfour Beatty Communities, also admitted there is work to be done and not just in building housing.
“Sometimes when that trust gets broken, we have to rebuild that trust, and Balfour Beatty is committed with our garrison partners to do just that,” he said.
He called the groundbreaking ceremony a “tangible symbol of the committed partnership between the U.S. Army and Balfour Beatty Communities to care for, honor and support these servicemembers.”
Evans reiterated a statement by Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth on a visit to the installation Oct. 27 that real change regarding military housing will take time, money and strong partnerships.
“We’ve said for a while now the only real solution for housing on Fort Eisenhower is new construction, and I’ll tell you today, we’re marching for that end,” he said.
Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at email@example.com. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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