Renovated apartments unveiled at Patch Barracks
STUTTGART, Germany — The old apartments were dingy and, in some cases, moldy.
Families had to lug their laundry to and from washers and dryers in the basement. And just one bathroom … when you have teenagers?!
“They were in horrible condition,” said Col. Gwendolyn Bonéy-Harris, commander of the 6th Area Support Group. “This was World War II living.”
Dozens of officers and their families soon will move into renovated digs on Patch Barracks after a $17 million project to overhaul 110 apartments was finished this week.
“They’re fighting and winning a nation’s war, sometimes working 18-19 hours a day,” Bonéy-Harris said. “It means a lot for a servicemember to know his family is in a nice place at home.”
The renovated units, which are part of 10 buildings known as the Kefurt and Craig Army Family Housing facility, are expected to house more than 500 family members on Patch Barracks, the busiest of Stuttgart’s four main bases and home of the U.S. European Command.
The new, more spacious apartments have master bedroom suites with private baths, laundry rooms in each apartment, wall-to-wall carpeting and locking storage areas. Gone are the open attics where the kids could play, according to Joanne Corson, wife of Marine Lt. Col. Geoffrey Corson.
“It was kind of neat for the kids to have a place to go,” she said. “But the rooms were so small, there was no room for them to play [inside the old apartments].
“It’s real nice compared to what we had before.”
The family of Air Force Lt. Col. Brad Provencal just moved to Stuttgart as part of the summertime permanent changes of stations. They’re staying in temporary housing and hope to be assigned to one of the new apartments.
“We looked at a few houses in town but nothing’s available on the [school] bus route,” Kathy Provencal said. Their children will be enrolling at schools on Patch Barracks.
More housing renovations are planned for Stuttgart, Bonéy-Harris said. Construction is scheduled to start next year at Kelley Barracks and two years later at Robinson Barracks.
Army Col. Roger Carey of EUCOM’s Command, Control, Communications Systems and Warfighting Integration Directorate, liked the idea of being able to walk to work.
In his former job, Carey had to fight the Washington, D.C.-area traffic.
He also said he liked the way the apartments looked, and looked forward to moving out of the Kelley Hotel and into his new home.
“I thought they were above average,” Carey said. “Some aspects were excellent. They could have had more cable and telephone drops, and there’s no tub in the bathroom for the master bedroom.
“Other than that, no complaints.”