FORT HOOD, Texas - In partnership with the U.S. Army, Lendlease announced its short- and long-term vision for the approximately $420 million investment into Fort Hood Family Housing over the next five years.
“Through our 50-year partnership with the Army, we are committed to providing homes that service members can not only be proud to live in, but also improve their quality of life,” Chris Albus, project director for FHFH, said about the community development program.
One of the largest projects includes the demolition and subsequent new construction of nearly 600 new junior enlisted homes in Chaffee Village. Preconstruction activities, such as water and sewer replacements, are currently underway and expected to be completed in December, allowing construction on the new homes to begin in January 2022.
“The process for the new builds, from start of soil management, electrical underground, grading and pad infrastructure work, to construction completion, will take approximately three years to complete,” Albus explained. “The new construction and renovations were designed with our residents in mind and will not only enhance the look and feel of our community, but also increase functionality in our homes to ensure we are meeting the needs of service members and their families today and in the future.”
The spacious three-bedroom, two and a half bath floorplans will be Energy Star certified and are intended to be designed by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The homes will offer open floorplans, gathering spaces for families, modern finishes, increased storage and more amenities.
“Those houses are going to be targeted at our junior enlisted Soldiers, which is exactly the right place to put that initial big push,” Col. Chad R. Foster, commander of U.S. Army – Fort Hood, said about the new construction. “These are new Soldiers, many of whom, this is their first or second duty assignment. We already put this massive weight on their shoulders, everything we ask them to do on a daily basis – to protect our country, to support our national security objectives, to deploy, to train – well, the least we can do is give their families a peace of mind and give a high quality, safe place to live.”
The community development program also includes renovations of more than 1,300 homes, roof replacements in eight communities, exterior paint in four neighborhoods, repaving some roads and installing accessible curb ramps, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Interior renovations in homes throughout Comanche II, Comanche III and Montague Village are expected to begin this month. Albus said the extensive interior renovations include fresh paint, replacing doors, flooring and lighting fixtures. They will also add new kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances, as well as new plumbing fixtures, vanities and a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.
“Due to the extensive scope of the planned renovations, the homes will need be vacant in order to conduct the planned work,” Albus explained. “To cause as little disruption to residents as possible, our goal is to renovate homes as they become available. Should this change, our team will work with residents individually to discuss.”
The large-scale roofing project includes Comanche I, Comanche II, Comanche III, Montague Village, Venable Village, Kouma Village, Patton Park and Wainwright Heights communities. Albus said he expects more than 2,500 roofs to be replaced by the summer of 2024.
More than 820 homes in Comanche II, Patton Park, Venable Village and Wainwright Heights will receive new exterior paint, with an expected completion by spring 2024.
“This work will include exterior paint and siding repairs, as needed, and will not only improve overall curb appeal, but will also offer increased protection and insulation from the elements,” he added.
Beginning in September, Lendlease will be installing accessible ramps and driveway entries for ADA compliance throughout Venable Village. The project is projected to take nine months.
“In the 1960s, prior to the establishment of Fort Hood Family Housing, driveway entries were designed for higher stance vehicles and ADA ramps were not installed,” Albus explained. “This valuable project will allow for all vehicles to utilize driveways and provide more accessibility throughout the neighborhood.”
Starting by October, roads in Comanche II, Wainwright Heights and Montague Village will be repaved. The project, which will impact families in those neighborhoods, will take approximately seven months to complete. Albus said that residents will be notified in advance of any work that will impact their neighborhood. He said all notices will provide full details on what to expect, how to prepare, safety measures in place and direct contact information for their dedicated point of contact.
“This valuable project will allow for safer and more comfortable passage of vehicles throughout the neighborhoods and improve overall community aesthetic,” he added. “As work is underway, we have a dedicated team of community and customer care professionals who will work with each resident who may be impacted by the community development program to provide as little disruption as possible.”
After conducting a Tenant Housing Satisfaction Survey, one of the big projects residents requested was to improve curb appeal by trimming trees. Albus said the large-scale tree trimming project will enhance safety of the homes on Fort Hood, while also promoting healthy tree growth. The community-wide tree trimming project began in June and is estimated to be complete in 2023.
“The urgency and the importance of quality housing for our Soldiers and family members on the base are first and foremost on our minds,” the garrison commander said. “We’re committed as an Army, with our Lendlease partners, to doing that even better for years to come.”
FHFH has established a webpage where residents can find a full overview of the community development program, to include scopes of work, timelines and more. It can be found at https://www.forthoodfh.com/community-development.
“Ultimately, we want our residents to have a positive living experience during their time with us,” Albus said. “We are committed to providing safe and healthy homes where our families can live, work and thrive and this program is an example of how we continue to proactively do so.”