Hohenfels construction set to ease soldier housing crunch
HOHENFELS, Germany — The Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels will be expanding soon, adding around $50 million worth of new housing for incoming troops and other infrastructure.
The spending will include about $18 million for two base barracks, as well as facilities for training and administration at the Army’s primary maneuver center in Europe.
“We are seeing growth in Hohenfels,” Army spokesman Nathan Van Schaik said. “The 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment and Joint Multinational Readiness Center are gaining new soldiers and family members. Occupancy rates at Hohenfels government-owned, leased housing and in the barracks are nearly maxed out.”
Consequently, there is a housing shortage and the Army is looking to add as many as 90 additional homes, Van Schaik said.
The Army also plans on utilizing more private rentals in towns nearby the base, he said.
The construction on base will include the Army Corps of Engineers and local crews.
The German state building bureau in Regensburg is currently working on four large construction projects at the Hohenfels training site, bureau official Werner Rother said.
Rother said the renovation work being done on Building 857 — a kitchen and a canteen — is supposed to be finished in June 2019.
At this time, he said, the soldiers have very limited dining options, including two improvised canteens and a few fast food restaurants.
“It is important that we finish the work at this building as soon as possible,” Rother said.
Other renovation projects include a headquarters building for the JMRC joint chiefs of staff and multiple barracks.
“We just started with the construction work last Monday,” Rother said of the barracks, which are scheduled to be finished in 2020.
Rother, who has worked on previous Army building projects, said a problem his bureau runs into is that the Army often rethinks its decisions, making it necessary to frequently revise and update the plans.
“Do not get me wrong, this is normal for construction projects, but changes can delay the work,” Rother said. “Even now where we are in the final phase (of Building 857), new ideas were brought to us.”