Camp Humphreys begins building first housing tower
Stars and Stripes
As part of a broader initiative to build up the Camp Humphreys infrastructure and ready it to serve as a major military hub in central South Korea in coming years, the U.S. Army is building a new eight-story apartment building.
The circular eight-story tower marks the second phase of a planned three-building complex for military families.
Workers also are building a two-level underground parking garage at the site on the southern portion of Camp Humphreys, a 1,230-acre U.S. Army helicopter base in Pyongtaek 45 miles south of Seoul.
The project’s remaining stages — two apartment towers, a garage and related work — are estimated to cost $40.7 million and are to be completed by December 2006, officials said. Under the first phase, the Army last September opened a five-story, 52-apartment, three-elevator building at the site. The second phase calls for building the first of two identical eight-story buildings, each with 48 apartments and three elevators. Construction on the first tower and the 220-space parking garage began in January. Both are to be completed by January 2005.
“It’s just a big benefit to the community,” said Helen C. G. Nurse, housing division chief for the Army’s Area III Support Activity at Camp Humphreys. “All the military families want to live on post, for the security reasons, for the convenience of using all the facilities on post.”
The United States and South Korea agreed the Army will shift the 7,000 troops from Yongsan Garrison in Seoul to the Pyongtaek region by 2007. That move is part of a still-larger plan under which the U.S. military will reposition its forces in South Korea in coming years.
No date is set to build the second tower but it’s to open sometime around December 2006, said Greg Reiff, resident engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Far East District resident office at Camp Humphreys.
Each tower will have 32 three-bedroom apartments and 16 four-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will have two bathrooms, a separate family room, a laundry room and storage. The master bedrooms will have walk-in closets.
Living rooms and hallways will have hardwood floors and rooms will be wired for phone, Internet and cable television, Reiff said.
In addition, the complex will feature three picnic areas, two multi-purpose courts and two playgrounds.
Elevators in the two eight-story buildings will run to the underground parking garage, Reiff said. Residents in the existing five-story structure also will be able to reach the garage by elevator but will have to walk from the lobby to an elevator just a few yards outside the front entrance, he said.
The Pumyang Construction Co. Ltd., of Seoul, is doing the work under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“It’s a huge quality-of-life improvement,” said Nurse. “It’s going to be a community inside of a community, the housing units. It’s a landscaped area, it’s going to have playgrounds and barbecue areas. ... We’re all looking forward to it.”