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Fort Leonard Wood isn't yet sure if new $228,000 houses will be duplexes
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (March 23, 2010) — When Congressman Ike Skelton announced on March 18 that Army officials have decided to allocate $9.8 million to replace 43 homes in the Piney Hills neighborhood of Fort Leonard Wood, the announcement caught post leaders by surprise since they didn’t have prior knowledge of the funding plans.

After tracking down details, post spokeswoman Nicole Black said military officials aren’t yet sure whether the $9.8 million, at a cost of nearly $228,000 per home, will be used to build duplexes or single-family homes.

However, Black said the Piney Hills neighborhood in the southeast end of the installation cantonment area will be designated as housing for both NCOs and officers. It’s part of the ongoing Military Housing Privatization Initiative rather than a military construction project, which at Fort Leonard Wood means it’s administered by Balfour-Beatty Communities.

Existing housing in the area will be demolished and replaced under Balfour-Beatty’s contract with the Department of Defense to keep the final total of on-post housing units at 1,806 once the project is finished.

Under the privatization program, most but not all on-post housing at Fort Leonard Wood has been turned over to Balfour Beatty Communities, a privately run company which is steadily refurbishing or replacing the existing on-post housing, much of which until a few years ago dated back to the Vietnam War era or even earlier.

Most funds to replace, refurbish and maintain the housing units come from the servicemembers’ BAH or Basic Allowance for Housing that they would have received if they had chosen to live off post rather than live in on-post housing.

The BAH dollar amount is based on a number of factors of which the most important are the servicemembers’ military rank and the local cost of living at their duty station. Balfour Beatty received the Fort Leonard Wood contract after the original contractor, American Eagle, had major problems at other installations.

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THIS ARTICLE: Fort Leonard Wood isn't yet sure if new $228,000 houses will be duplexes
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:56 pm

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