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Area IV housing chief Charles Youngblood, right, holds a newly installed elevator to allow residents to take the first ride on Friday at Camp George in Daegu, South Korea. Boarding the elevator are fourth-floor residents Anastasia Brown and her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Cameron Brown, who holds their seven-month-old son Christian.
Area IV housing chief Charles Youngblood, right, holds a newly installed elevator to allow residents to take the first ride on Friday at Camp George in Daegu, South Korea. Boarding the elevator are fourth-floor residents Anastasia Brown and her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Cameron Brown, who holds their seven-month-old son Christian. (Galen Putnam / U.S. Army)

The days of climbing four flights of stairs with a heavy load of groceries are over for Anastasia Brown in her apartment building at Camp George in Daegu, South Korea.

Newly installed elevators began operating Friday at Buildings B, C and D. They’re the first elevators in Camp George’s apartments since the five-story structures went up 20 years ago.

“Absolutely, it’s one of the greatest improvements that’s been done in Area IV to improve the quality of life,” said Charles Youngblood, housing chief with the Army’s Area IV Support Activity.

The three elevators are part of a $1.5 million project under which the Army eventually will have installed an elevator in each of the 10 apartment buildings at Camp George’s Mountainview Housing Area, Youngblood said. Installing a single elevator costs $151,782, according to officials.

The Korean National Housing Corporation is carrying out the project. It also manages the housing complex.

Elevator installation work began May 1 in Buildings B, C and D. Elevators also are planned for Buildings A, E, F, G, H, I and J. Work on those buildings began June 1 and is to finish by May 31, and maybe sooner, Youngblood said.

Buildings A and H also will have ramps to help handicapped people get to the elevators, he said.

Besides the housing area, Camp George is the site of the Taegu American School.

Area IV officials kicked off the new elevator service shortly after 10 a.m. by giving the first ride in Building C to Brown, her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Cameron Brown, and their 7-month-old son, Christian.

“We’re actually excited about it,” she said. “After we had the opening … we went to the commissary. And we were actually able to bring the groceries up” without help. A task that previously “took us about 30 minutes to do actually took us only five minutes,” she added.

It’ll also mean her children won’t have to lug heavy book bags to the fourth floor after school.

“So we’re very happy about it and the kids are happy about it too,” she said.

Youngblood said about 15 spectators were on hand Friday morning to watch the Brown’s ceremonial first ride.

“And they were all asking when are they going to get the (other) elevators turned on,” he said.

“The quality of life improved tremendously with those things,” Youngblood said of the three new elevators. “And we’re also excited about the other seven elevators that are going in. … We’re hoping to get them done quickly so people can experience them.”

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