GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — The Army plans to build on-post housing at Grafenwöhr and Vilseck in the next couple of years as part of efforts to consolidate the 172nd Infantry Brigade at the multinational training area.

Some 750 soldiers from the 172nd and about 1,120 family members were scheduled to move from Schweinfurt to Grafenwöhr this summer, but the move was delayed after work fell through on a 300-unit off-post military community in nearby Hütten.

As German officials look for new investors for the Hütten project, the Army is moving forward with plans to add 110 on-post homes in the area, USAG Grafenwöhr spokeswoman Kim Gillespie said in an e-mail. But construction won’t begin for at least 14 months.

Sixty new on-post homes are planned for Grafenwöhr, with 32 already approved and construction possible in fiscal 2012, she said. The Army could also start building up to 30 homes on Rose Barracks in Vilseck in fiscal 2012, Gillespie said.

Col. Frank Zachar, the brigade’s commander, said officials are doing their best to consolidate his unit in one location.

“I feel positive that the right people are doing the right things and that at some time in the future we will have an opportunity to take our three battalions from Schweinfurt and bring them here,” he said.

And there’s still hope that someone will take over the Hütten housing project, said Colonel Avanulas “Vann” R. Smiley, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr.

Grafenwöhr mayor Helmuth Wächter, who met with Smiley last week, said local officials are negotiating with contractors to get Hütten back on track.

“We plan to find a solution soon,” he said. “It is our goal to start with the construction work of the 300 homes next year.”

Other construction and renovation projects will also factor into the 172nd’s move.

Six barracks for single soldiers are scheduled to be built within the garrison by fiscal 2014, Gillespie said.

And $20 million has been approved to renovate 150 on-post homes in Vilseck in the next three years, Smiley said.

Smaller units moving out of Grafenwöhr — including several this year — could free up housing for 172nd families, he said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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