$100 million for housing construction, renovation planned for Fort Bragg
By STEVE DEVANE | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: August 22, 2019
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — More than 180 homes on Fort Bragg will be renovated and 95 new homes will be built, the post's garrison commander said Wednesday.
Col. Phillip Sounia also said more than 200 homes on post will be demolished. He spoke during a town hall meeting at Fort Bragg's Iron Mike Conference Center. The meeting was shown on the post's Facebook page.
The construction, renovation and demolition of the homes represent about a $100 million investment by Corvias, the company that manages housing property on Fort Bragg, Sounia said.
Housing on post has come under scrutiny recently after mold, lead paint and carbon monoxide were found in some homes. An Army survey of 43 posts conducted between April and May found Fort Bragg received the lowest ranking for its privatized housing.
Heather Fuller, the operations director for Corvias, said that since February the company has cleaned ducts in about 3,000 homes and power washed about 2,000 homes. She said Corvias has hired 52 more employees to work on issues at Fort Bragg.
Sounia said Fort Bragg and Corvias are partners. He said the relationship is improving.
"They have dedicated a tremendous amount of resources ... in creating a better environment for our families," he said.
Sounia said 95 homes will be built in the Ste Mere Eglise neighborhood. Plans call for 160 homes to be demolished there, he said. The project is scheduled to start in February and be completed by February 2022.
In the Ardennes/Bataan area, 150 homes will be renovated, Sounia said. The work is expected to cost about $35 million and be complete by December 2021, he said.
At Pope Army Airfield, 32 homes will be renovated on Galaxy Drive, he said. The $10 million effort is scheduled to be done by September 2021.
Sounia said 46 older homes have been demolished in the Anzio Acres neighborhood at a cost of more than $1 million.
During the meeting, a resident asked about a mold problem in her kitchen. Sounia said Fort Bragg officials were going to check the situation Wednesday.
"If it's a concern of yours, it's a concern of mine," he said.
One resident asked about the possibility of scheduling routine maintenance work. Soldiers often don't know when workers are coming, one resident said.
Fuller said the company has been working on a backlog of maintenance requests since Hurricane Florence hit in September. The additional workers are helping address the issue.
"We're still working on it," she said.
On a separate issue, a Facebook viewer asked about plans for a movie complex on post. Sounia said post officials plan to meet with representatives of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service about the issue.
Fort Bragg officials plan to conduct a survey, asking about whether there is demand for an open-air shopping center with a movie theater, Sounia said. Positive results could show the need for a facility similar to one at Fort Bliss, Texas, that costs about $38 million, he said.
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service, which oversees retail development on military installations, announced in 2014 it was planning for the development, which will be known as Freedom Crossing at Fort Bragg. It will include a movie theater, restaurants and retail.
"We'd like to have them breaking ground early next year," Sounia said.