Financial institutions in deserted Vogelweh complex look to relocate
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The two military financial institutions hanging on in the now-deserted Vogelweh shopping complex are looking for a new home.
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service closed down its operations there in mid-September when the new Kaiserslautern Military Community Complex opened at nearby Ramstein Air Base.
The building, which houses Community Bank and Service Credit Union, is tentatively slated for demolition to make way for the new Defense Department school campus.
The Community Bank branch is scheduled to close on Dec. 31, according to Steve Burghardt, a Defense Finance and Accounting Service spokesman in Denver.
So far, Air Force officials have not designated a location at Vogelweh to continue operations, Burghardt said Tuesday in an e-mail response.
Service Credit Union, meanwhile, has its eyes on a new branch at Kleber Kaserne so it can continue to serve its customers on Vogelweh and those living in east Kaiserslautern, said Philip von Streicher, Service Credit Union’s Overseas Branch Administration West vice president.
A facility on Kleber has been authorized for the credit union, Streicher said Wednesday. Some modifications to the building, however, are needed to make it viable, he said, and “we’re waiting on approval for those renovations. We definitely want to open the branch.”
Community Bank already has a branch at Kleber.
Credit union officials were told the latest they could remain at their Vogelweh location is January, Von Streicher said.
The military plans to give the Vogelweh property over to the Defense Department Education Activity for a new Kaiserslautern High School.
DODDS-Europe spokeswoman Margret Menzies said Thursday that funding approval for construction of the new high school is part of the fiscal 2010 appropriations bill that has yet to be signed by President Barack Obama. The project has been budgeted at nearly $75 million.