Camp Humphreys, Republic of Korea – A new family housing complex opened here, May 13, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The three towers, containing three-, four-, and five-bedroom family-housing units, are designed for service members with families who are stationed on the installation.
“To the families moving in here today, it’s an honor that I get to personally welcome you and your family into your new home,” said Col. Seth Graves, the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys commander, during his remarks at the ceremony. “Because it’s your home, it’s to be enjoyed and a place to build fond memories while you’re stationed here at Camp Humphreys.”
Sgt. Daniel Banda, assigned to the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, and his family had been living in the Humphreys Lodge since leaving Fort Bliss, Texas, in mid-April. Today, they were one of three families to move into their new home on opening day.
“This is amazing. We don’t have to live out of our bags anymore,” said Banda, following the ceremony, as he and his family toured their new home. Though Banda, as a Soldier, has moved homes before, he has never been welcomed into a new home with a ribbon cutting ceremony, an Army band and fanfare.
“We have a duty to provide excellent housing for our service members and their families,” said Don Bizek, facilities housing manager here. “We want people to choose to live on post, and these towers are in the middle of everything: the hospital, the gym, the commissary, the Exchange. It’s convenient.”
Bizek said the size of the new homes reflect changing family structures. Whereas in the past the military designed its family units around two and three-bedroom homes, the Army today provides more four- and five-bedroom homes. Camp Humphreys only has a few two-bedroom family units, said Bizek.
The three family-housing towers, which will be known as named Britton, Espinoza, and Thompson towers, were contracted to Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., in June 2017, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District. The total project cost was $135 million.
“These towers are special to us for many reasons. They were designed in-house by our design team,” said Lt. Col. Michael Pope, deputy district commander for the Corps. “Designing a project and seeing it come to life is a major milestone for an engineering team and we couldn’t be prouder of this state-of-the-art facility.”
The new towers provide 72 housing units each, for a total of 216 new homes. To accommodate families whose members have disabilities, five percent of the new units are completely ADA accessible or adaptable. New to these towers are climate-control capabilities in each room, tankless water heaters, and closed-circuit television, for added security.
In addition to more housing space, three playgrounds have also been created, surrounding the towers. Two of the playgrounds are dedicated to those children who are between the ages of 2 and 5, and are gated to protect the children. Complimenting the playgrounds are pavilions, grills, picnic tables and a basketball court. As a bonus, the towers are environmentally responsible and designed to be energy efficient, achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating.
Next to the new towers are three additional housing towers that are currently under construction. They are expected to be completed in 2023.